If your home was built between 1950 and 1978 in Maryland, an inspection for lead paint is not only mandated by law, it is critical to protect your family's health. Although lead poisoning cases have been becoming steadily rarer each year since the 90s, the Baltimore Sun reports that the number of affected children in Maryland has stayed the same since 2013, at approximately 2,600 cases across the state. Many of these cases are caused by remaining lead paint in homes built before 1978, when the use of lead paint was banned in new construction in Maryland, but after 1950, the cutoff year for government programs targeting lead paint in historic homes.
Lead poisoning is extremely damaging to children, resulting in deficiencies in IQ, growth, attention and energy level, as well as headaches, anemia and kidney damage. Recently, a local 17-year-old made headlines by winning a $2 million lawsuit against a rental company in Baltimore for failing to remove lead paint from his home, causing him serious brain damage and continuing cognitive deficiencies. While not all of us have the time and resources to file a lawsuit, anyone can follow these basic tips to protect their children from lead poisoning:
- Have children wash their hands before eating. Lead poisoning is predominantly caused by ingestion of the paint itself.
- Remove dust from the home regularly. Lead paint dust can also cause damage when inhaled.
- Throw out toys and furniture painted before 1976.
- Have your home inspected for lead paint by a qualified, accredited home inspection company. Alban Inspections offers lead paint inspections, risk assessments and lead free certifications at a competitive price.
- For more information about lead paint removal and your home, contact HUD at 800-RID-LEAD, or for general information, contact the National Lead Information Center at (800) 424-5323.