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Creating Safety From COVID-19 May Reveal Another Hazard

All 338,000 Seattle Metro Public Schools and 260,000 Portland Metro Public Schools students are distance-learning from home, expecting to stay safe from the COVID-19 in 2020. But, many homeowners might be facing another, more serious danger and not even know it.

Homes Built Before 1978 May Contain Lead Paint

As children spend more time at home, they will have an increased risk of exposure. According to the Seattle Times, “The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that nearly 9 out of 10 homes built in Seattle before 1940 have lead-based paint present, and 25% of homes built between 1960 and 1977 contain lead-based paint.” Moreover, 56% of the homes built in King County were built before 1978. Likewise, 1978 is the median home build date in Portland. A report from the CDC concludes that lead poisoning can damage a child’s brain and nervous system, slow growth and development, and impact learning and behavior. Because of these risks, rental-housing owners with properties built before 1978 must disclose known information about the presence of lead-based paint before signing a lease agreement with their tenants.

So How Do Children Become Exposed?

Small children, can be exposed to paint chips on window sills or dust that gets on their toys. Since toddlers tend to chew on toys and even window sills, you can see how easy it is for them to ingest lead by just being a kid. Elementary school-aged children tend to chew on pencils and pens where dust can also be present. What compounds the matter more is that lead paint has a sweet taste—making children want it more. And, unless you have a very good vacuum, like a Festool HEPA Dust Extractor, vacuuming, even daily probably won’t help.

Contact A Certified Lead Paint Removal Contractor

If there is chipping paint or you suspect dust in your home, we urge you to contact a certified contractor, test it, and develop a plan to remove, encapsulate, or abate the lead-based paint. If you are renting, check your lease to make sure it includes a lead paint disclosure form. If not, contact your landlord and demand it be appended. It’s the law.

Test Your Children For Lead Paint Exposure

We also encourage you to contact your pediatrician and have your children tested for lead. If your child has tested positive and your home tested negative, you might look at day-care, kindergarten, or possibly their elementary school. If this is the case, contact your caregiver or school district and demand that they immediately stabilize the facility or school. There are federal, state, and local government programs to assist with remediation, and now is the time to do it since kids aren’t in school anyway. If you know your children attend an older school, reach out to administrators, and urge them to use this distance learning time to their advantage and remediate all lead paint.

About SFW Construction’s Lead Paint Stabilization Division

SFW Construction is primarily a dry rot and siding repair contractor. However, due to the large number of homes in the Pacific Northwest we work on that contain lead paint, we’ve acquired all the necessary skills and certifications from the EPA to remove, encapsulate, and abate lead paint. Over the years, we’ve developed a solid reputation for lead paint stabilization abilities to the point where other paint companies contact us when they need lead paint removed. That’s right, we’ll gladly partner with a competitor to “get the lead out” and provide a level of quality and service you can depend on.

(503) 885-0236