Those of us living in the southwest have not had the educational exposure to lead in the home that folks from back east may have had. With fewer really older homes and less wood surfaces contractors and homeowners alike have had little concern for lead in the finishes of our homes.
As of April all contractors working in homes built prior to 1978 will be required to be certified for lead safe renovation. There are exceptions like the home having tested and cleared for lead danger in the areas to be renovated or repainted. Or, you’re just recoating a sound surface and not doing any sanding or scraping that would cause dust.
The most likely finishes to have lead would be ceramic tile, wood and metal primers, enamels, vanishes on cabinets and floors, and some bright colors like red or yellow.
The most danger comes from when these surfaces start to wear or break down causing chips or powder that can be inhaled or swallowed.
This article is not meant to be the definitive answer to your lead concern. Rather to bring awareness to a health concern.
This may have an economic impact on the price tag of maintenance and improvement projects in and around older homes. There are testing options available and in some cases your local municipality may have government financed options available to you.
Even without help from government programs, planning ahead with your contractor concerning budget and project size should allow you to improve your home safely.