Lead is a heavy metal and was used as an additive to paint to make it more durable, easier to clean and to make it appear brighter or whiter.  By 1978 its use in residences was made illegal because it had already been known for many years that the breakdown of the paint in homes and apartments lead to children becoming lead poisoned.

It is true that some children will pick up a chip of paint and place it in their mouth because the lead that is used in paint has a sweet taste and it sometimes referred to as “lead candy.”  These paint chips may also be brightly colored and attract the eye of a small child.  But placing a chip of paint in the mouth is not the only way a child can become lead poisoned.

Lead based paint used on doors and windows is of particular concern because these areas present friction surfaces.  As the windows go up and down and as the doors open and close small, sometimes invisible to the eye, lead based paint dust is emitted into the environment and covers the home.  A small child crawling around the floor will get this dust on his or her hands and place the hands in his or her mouth ingesting the lead paint dust.  Similarly, this lead based paint dust can cover toys and other household objects that children will usually place in their mouths.  Unfortunately, routine cleaning of the home will not eliminate this hazardous, poisonous dust.

Lead based paint on window sills is extremely dangerous because often times the window sills are the same height as a child’s mouth.  Often a child will try to look out a window and rest her head on the window sill and mouth or even teeth on the window sill causing the child to ingest lead and become poisoned.

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