painting question and answers remove lead paint peeling exterior window casing
Photo: Courtesy Van Billings Real Estate LLC
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Removing Lead Paint

Q: My husband and I recently purchased a beautiful old home built in 1913. There is old peeling paint on the exterior side of all the window casings. I am sure that it is lead paint and am concerned for the safety of our 22-month-old daughter. Without hiring a professional, what are some methods we can use ourselves to safely remove the lead paint?"

—Kris, Minneapolis, Minnesota

A: If your daughter ingests even a small amount of lead it can lead to serious medical problems. In the course of our Jamaica Plain project, we consulted Dr. Michael Shannon, a pediatrician and toxicologist at Children's Hospital in Boston, who reported that exposure to lead paint can have a significant impact on the cognitive development of children under six. Adults have a greater tolerance for lead, but can still develop poisoning and experience symptoms such as headaches and abdominal pain.

For these reasons, We don't recommend that homeowners tackle lead abatement on their own. It's a job for professionals.

Read Cleaning Up Lead, Asbestos, and Other Hazards for more information
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