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Old 03-09-2009, 05:35 PM   #1
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Lead based paint

Does all paint chip?
I have paint chipping on outside balcony. I don't know if it's lead based paint. Does regular paint (meaning not only lead based paint) chip?
The property manager says that my duplex was built in 1945. I know for a fact that my duplex was NOT built in 1945- the style and design is too modern, the heating system is newer. However, they do have two other homes on the same property that were OBVIOUSLY built in 1945; I've been in both of the other homes and they have baseboard heating and are Victorian Style homes.

I'm just wondering if regular paint chips, just like lead based ones do?
Thanks for your help!


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Old 03-09-2009, 06:22 PM   #2
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Chipping does not mean a paint is or is not lead-based. Both lead-based and non lead-based paint chips. You can get a simple lead test kit at your local home store.

Houses built before the 1950's tended to have higher levels of lead based paint. The US CPSC banned lead-based paint in 1978.


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Old 03-10-2009, 06:25 AM   #3
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Just about all houses built pre 1970 will have lead paint. Most exterior paint had it and most interior trim paint had it.
Just keep the little rug rats from munching on the woodwork.
The alternative is to strip all the woodwork to a 4' level or replace it.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:08 PM   #4
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All paint will chip regardless of it's base. Lead was a "strategic" metal during WW2. It was forbidden to be used in paint, because it was needed elsewhere in the war effort (bullets). That forced paint companies to look for alternatives. Many paints were formulated using titanium dioxide and other materials. After WW2, many paint companies stayed with their new formulas, which worked just as well, rather than return to lead. The chances of finding lead drop off significantly after the early 1940's. As stated above, a good idea is to pick up a lead test kit at a paint store. When testing, make sure you have a sample of each layer of paint. A coat of lead based paint could be sandwiched between two non-lead layers, which would give you bad test results. Sending a good sample to a lab is a much better bet.
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