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Lead Testing

Many houses built before 1978 have paint containing lead. Lead from paint, dust and soil can be dangerous. Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before birth. People can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips containing lead. In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard. Lead may also be in your water. The simplest and cheapest test that an inspector may offer is a swab test. This is a chemical test that will indicate the presence of lead by a change in color of the chemical. It is important to understand the limitations of this type of test. The inspector will only check a few locations and not the entire house. There is a far more thorough test that few inspectors will offer. It requires a very expensive radioactive device. Companies that perform this type of test will check the whole house and issue a report of the findings. The cost for this type of test can be several hundreds of dollars. For more information on lead call the National Lead Clearinghouse at 1-800-424-LEAD.
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