There is strong and widely accepted evidence that exposure to lead contributes to a wide range of health problems. This evidence led to the removal of lead from gasoline and to prohibiting its use in most paints and construction materials after 1978. Several years ago, the federal government began to require the use of a contract addendum regarding lead based paint for all sales (and rentals) of homes and condos built prior to 1978. This addendum requires that the seller disclose any knowledge of lead based paint in the house and requires that the buyer have the option of testing for lead based paint.
Despite this mandated addendum, testing for lead based paint has not become routine in our market. In part because mitigation is a much more complicated proposition than it is for radon and because buyers are concerned about having to disclose the results of these tests later want to sell the property.
A variety of tests for lead based paint are available and there are many companies offering testing services. Check out the EPA’s home page for lead issues and their list of consumer publications on lead and lead based paint. You might also want to look at the lead based paint contract addendum on the Colorado Real Estate Commission’s document list. Finally, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has updated local information on local lead testing and mitigation companies.