Until it was found to have adverse effects on human health, particularly on the health of children , lead-based paint was used in many homes and apartment units in the U.S. To reduce exposure to lead-based paint hazards, Congress enacted the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act in 1992 (Title X of Public Law 102-550).
The most recent EPA rule in this area addresses lead hazards in remodeling and renovation projects. To reduce exposure to lead-based paint hazards during renovation activities, EPA is requiring additional notification and work safety procedures before, during, and after any remodeling or renovation activity.
The older your home, the more likely it has lead-based paint. Many homes built before 1978 have lead based paint. Lead is most likely to be a hazard in paint chips and lead dust. Peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention. Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that gets a lot of wear which might include: windows and window sills, doors and door frames, stairs, railings and banisters, and porches and fences.