Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates.
Exposure to lead – whether from drinking water, contaminated soil or paint – poses a serious health risk to our region’s residents –particularly to very young children and to women who are pregnant or considering a pregnancy. CCI recognizes the need to consider lead hazards in a home, and as the national best practices we follow in building science continue to intersect with initiatives to protect the health of a dwelling’s occupants, we are putting that recognition into action. CCI is pleased to launch a new lead paint testing service, thanks in part to support from The Heinz Endowments. To learn more about this service, click here.
Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body. Children six years old and younger are most susceptible to the effects of lead. Even low levels of lead in the blood of children can result in: Behavior and learning problems, Lower IQ and Hyperactivity, Slowed growth, Hearing Problems, and Anemia. In rare cases, ingestion of lead can cause seizures, coma and even death.”
In June 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a Policy Statement on Prevention of Childhood Lead Toxicity. It notes, “Lead-based paint is the most common, highly concentrated source of lead exposure for children who live in older housing…. or older housing that undergoes renovation …”
They found that 15% of children living in housing built prior to 1950 had elevated blood levels, as compared to 4.2% of children living in homes build between 1950 and 1978 and only 2.1% of children who lived in housing units built after 1978.
In our region, the paint problem remains a significant risk factor. According to Biz Journals, more than 38% of Pittsburgh’s homes were built prior to 1950 – setting the stage for an abundance of older housing stock complete with base layers of older paint. Plus, lead paint was not banned from residential uses in the United States until less than a generation ago – in 1978 by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (16 Code of Federal Regulations CFR 1303).
To learn more about lead paint and CCI’s lead paint testing services, click here.