Maryland homes built before 1978 are affected by the Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act, requiring owners of such properties to provide clarity about any lead paint to prospective buyers. According to the People’s Law Library of Maryland, sellers and/or landlords must:
- Disclose the presence of known lead-based hazards in the housing
- Provide purchasers and lessees with any available records or reports pertaining to the presence of lead-based hazards
- Provide purchasers and lessees with the EPA pamphlet “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”
- Include in sales contracts certain disclosure and acknowledgment language
- Provide purchasers with a 10-day opportunity to conduct a risk assessment or inspection for the presence of lead-based hazards before the purchaser is obligated under any purchase contract
If you’re considering purchasing a home built before 1978, it’s important to invest in a lead-based paint inspection, especially if you have children.
Who Can Lead Paint Hurt?
Lead paint poses a risk to children under six. If ingested, lead-based paint dust causes elevated levels of lead in the blood. Young children are at the highest risk due to the fast development of their bones. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Exposure to high levels of lead may cause anemia, weakness, and kidney and brain damage. Very high lead exposure can cause death.” Lead poisoning also poses a risk to unborn children, causing damage to their nervous systems. For a full list of symptoms, visit the CDC page on lead linked above.
When is Lead Paint Dangerous?
Lead-based paint is actually safe as long as it isn’t damaged (i.e. chipping, flaking, or peeling). The danger arises when lead dust makes its way into a child’s system. This can also occur if a child eats lead-based paint chips by accident or plays in contaminated soil.
Luckily, houses built closer to the time of the 1978 lead-based paint restriction are less likely to have lead-based paint. The biggest issues are concentrated in houses built during the 1940s or earlier. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry if you’re planning to have young children in your home, so make sure to have the property inspected.
Want to Give Your Home More Protection?
Toxic paint isn’t the only risk homes can hold. With the right home insurance policy, you can rest assured your belongings will be protected no matter what accidents occur– from kitchen fires to pipe leaks. To learn more about the best way to protect your home, fill out our quick online form or give us a call at 410-552-0403. Liberty Preferred Insurance Group is proud to offer comprehensive home insurance in Maryland, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and Virginia.