In the mid-19th-century lead was used extensively by the more wealthy homeowners. So if your old home is of better construction and condition it could be more likely toxic.
Old homes are not the only ones likely to be contaminated with lead paint. Any home built before 1980 should have it’s interior and exterior paint tested for lead. The older the home the more likely a significant amount of lead was used in the paint.
Lead can be absorbed via fumes but also from paint chipping off and going into the soil or floors. This lead can be picked up in dirt and toys and ingested by children unknowingly. Children are much more susceptible to lead absorption and the consequence is irreversible brain damage.
Lead is most dangerous when sanding and scraping are going on. This ambient lead hazard is caused by lead particles hanging in the air and can be inhaled or settle on skin and clothes.
There is no easy solution to deal with a lead paint issue but if you’ve got a family you really have no choice but to remove the lead paint. This is something you can do yourself but you need to take major precautions when attempting this.
1. For safety you should wear a mask, goggles, gloves and properly fitting clothes to cover your skin.
2. You should also lay a tarp on the ground under any area where you’ll be scraping so paint doesn’t work its way into the soil and dirt.
3. If you are working inside make sure you don’t eat or drink anywhere near the scraping area.
4. Cover all air vents into and out of a room.
5. Keep the door closed and also consider tarping off the scraping area.
6. Maintain good ventilation indoors but avoid working on a windy day and don’t use fans.
7. Before using a room again after scraping it multiply the height of the ceiling by 8 and don’t enter a room until that amount of hours have passed. If your ceilings are 8 feet high don’t use the room again until 64 hours.