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Transcript: Home Lead Sampling Video Excerpt - University of Cincinnati

Lead Hazards

Lead that can readily get into your body is called a lead hazard.

Most lead hazards come from lead-based paint that was used in housing constructed before 1978 when the Federal government banned its use in residential applications.

An important cause of lead poisoning is renovation or remodeling that is done in dwellings that have lead-based paint.

This video will help you to identify the most common causes of lead hazards and how you can test for them.

The process of identifying lead hazards is called lead risk assessment.

There are licensed professionals who can do this for you. 

They are called lead risk assessors and may be found in the Yellow Pages in most cities, or by contacting your state health department or the US EPA office listed in the literature accompanying this video.

By using this kit, you can determine if lead hazards are present or you can test for lead hazards after remodeling and painting contractors complete their work, since they generally do not do such testing.

You can do this testing without the expense of hiring a risk assessor.

Young children most commonly get lead poisoned by getting lead-contaminated dust or soil on their hands, toys and food.

To see if lead hazards exist in or around your home, dust and soil samples can be collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Peeling paint can also get into your child’s mouth or the chips can be crushed into a fine powder if walked upon.

Paint chips can be collected and sent to a laboratory to see if they contain lead.

[Title:  How and Where to Collect Samples]

In this video, we will show you how and the best places to collect soil, surface dust and paint chip samples.

Lead paint on various surfaces in your home, as long as it is intact, not coming off or being disturbed, does not present an immediate hazard

unless the surface can be chewed by a young child.

There are other conditions that cause paint to be separated from the surface.

You should be able to identify and remedy these conditions so that the paint remains on the surface.

This video should help you identify those conditions.

If children can come into contact with lead contaminated soil or it is brought into your home, it is a hazard. 

In this video, we will identify common soil lead hazards.

If paint is in good condition and not disturbed and cannot be chewed by young children, it does not present an immediate hazard.

You should look for conditions that cause damage to paint.

The most common things that damage paint are friction and impact.

There are also some other conditions that cause paint to come loose.  Let’s talk about each of these items.

Friction surfaces are places where a painted surface rubs against another surface.

This can happen with old, double-hung wood windows.

Every time the window is raised or lowered, the surfaces rub against each other and a very small amount of the paint or varnish is rubbed from the surface.

The highest levels of lead in dust are found on the sills of these windows.

Another example of a friction surface is a door rubbing against the frame.

This can be a seasonal condition.  In the summer, when the air is more humid,

the wood in the door can expand and cause the door to bind against the frame when it is closed.

If you are looking at your doors in the winter, when the air is drier, the door may not appear to be sticking.

But you may be able to see evidence of it by looking along the edge of the door and the frame to see if there are worn spots.

Painted floors are commonly found in older housing.

When people walk across these floors the friction of the shoes could be wearing away the painted surface.

Impact surfaces are those surfaces easily damaged by people doing normal daily activities.

People carrying groceries into their houses can easily damage painted door frames.

Children can damage the paint on baseboards through normal play activity.

These are examples of mechanical conditions that disturb paint.

There are other conditions that can separate the paint film from the surface.

Moisture is the most common condition that causes deterioration of the paint film.

In kitchens, steam from cooking can cause peeling or flaking.

In the bathroom, bathing and showering can cause moisture buildup, especially if there is no vent fan.

Leaking roofs may allow water to get to the ceiling, also causing paint peeling or flaking.

Leaking plumbing and heating pipes can do the same thing.

Loose grouting or caulking around tubs and showers can allow water to get into the walls and ceilings of adjacent rooms.

On the outside of the house, if the siding is missing or not caulked properly, water can penetrate the house.

If the gutters are clogged or down spouts are loose or missing, water can run down the side of the building and cause the exterior paint to fail.

Or it can increase the chance that moisture will penetrate the structure.

If water does not drain away from the building, it may penetrate the foundation and may cause moisture to get inside the building.

These underlying causes of paint failure should be remedied before the paint is repaired.

If you see conditions such as these in your home, or if you are remodeling an older home, lead hazards may be present. 

You can use this test kit to see if lead hazards exist.

The more lead in the dust on the floor, the more likely a child playing on the floor will be poisoned by lead.

Young children spend a lot of time on the floor, so the dust should be sampled to see how safe it is.

Since children can also get to windows, it is a good idea to collect dust from these locations.

Since children are more likely to be poisoned than adults, it is better to sample the floors in the rooms where they spend the most time.

These rooms are most likely the kitchen, play or living room, and the bedroom where the youngest child sleeps.

Within these rooms it is better to sample hard floors than carpets.

If all floors are carpeted, then the samples may be collected from the carpets.

Within each of the rooms, the floor adjacent to a friction or impact surface should be selected.

If a door is sticking, collect the sample next to the door.

If there is no door sticking, then the sample can be collected beneath an older window.

If none of these are present, then the sample can be collected along the edge of the room.

Window locations should be selected in the same manner. 

The windows to be tested should be in rooms frequented by the child or children.  The child should have access to the window, and the window should be one that is open and closed.

If renovation and remodeling activities are being conducted, collect those samples in the room where those activities are taking place.

Do not collect these samples immediately after you clean your house.  It better to collect them prior to cleaning. 

Otherwise, you will be measuring them at a time when the dust levels have been lowered by the cleaning process and you will underestimate the risk of lead poisoning.

Total time:  07:07



13: 11

This video and the Home Lead Sampling Kit were produced at the University of Cincinnati through a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Project Director: Sandy Roda
Writer/Producer:  Bill Menrath
Voiceover: Kathy Clayton
Technical Assistance: Jerishia Holly
Videographer/Editor: Clay Bretz

Centers Funded By:
Centers Funded by Epa and NIEHS

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