Lead Poisoning FAQ

Is Lead still around? I thought they took it out of paint and gas a while back.

Yes, it’s around. It was reduced in house paint by 1978 and from gas by 1990 but it is an elemental metal and doesn’t simply disappear. Because it remains in our environment for many years, the lead in the dust from 100-year old house paint is just as poisonous as ever.

As long as my kids don’t eat paint chips they’ll be fine right?

Maybe, but the dust from deteriorating lead-based paint is actually worse than the chips because it’s harder to see and easier to injest. Most children that are poisoned by lead get that way from accidentally ingesting lead paint dust in their homes.

Is it safe to live in an old house with lead-based paint?

As long as you are aware of the potential hazards and take action to reduce risks by implementing regular cleaning in key areas, you can live in an old home with lead paint with low risk. Of greatest concern is the creation of a major dust hazard by remodeling an older home while ignoring the dangerous lead dust conditions this can generate.

This is all so scary, what can I do?

Come to one of our classes and get connected with information and resources that will empower you to make your home safer for you and your family!

What is a Fix-it Fair?

Fix-it Fairs are neighborhood events held November-March offer workshops and exhibits on energy efficiency, healthy homes, yard care, green building and more. Sponsored by Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development.

Other questions?

Call 503.284.6827 ext. 109
or e-mail: lead@communityenergyproject.org.