why is lead paint bad

why is lead paint bad

Can you imagine living in your dream home with 
walls made of harmful chemicals? Yes, you got it right. Lead is poison for humans. If you wonder if the paint used in your beautiful abode contains any lead or not, worry not. Having doubts concerning the consequences of applying lead paint over your artistic walls is normal, but stay calm. 

With all your doubts, you have come to the right place. You will find all about the techniques of finding out if your house walls paint is lead-free or not and what will happen if it has.

Often when the companies warn about lead in paints, you tend to ignore them. However, there are some potential risks and hazards here. Therefore, you will get to know all about the harmful effects of lead paint on humans.

How to identify lead in your paint?

Before you think hard about how to deal with the situation, it is necessary to know if your paint has Lead particles in it or not. The simplest concept here is that if your house has paint manufactured before 1978, it is more likely to contain lead. It was a trend back then to add lead in the paint to speed up the drying process, increase its life, and for moisture resistance. However, a ban on lead in 1978 by the United States of America came as a strict measure for safety concerns. In this case, if you do not have any track of how long it has been since your building got that coat of paint, better go for a lead test.

  • DIY Lead paint test kits– use an EPA- recognised kit.
  • Professional lead paint laboratory testing and analysis.


What are the harmful effects of lead paint?

Lead paint is harmful. The lead present in your walls can enter your body and can cause some serious health issues. As long as it is simply in your walls, there is no reason to worry. However, the problem starts when the paint starts coming off by renovation, drilling, sanding, or demolition.

When the paint starts cracking or starts to peel off, the small parts can enter the body of the children. People inhale the dust particles that are spread in the air. The dust that settles on tables, books, toys, doorknobs, etc., enters your body when you touch it and use those same hands to eat. Children usually put their hands in their mouths while eating, and this is very risky for them. Lead poisoning takes over a few months or years to come into effect. It can cause:

  1. Headaches– people experience pain and discomfort in the head or neck. It can be mild or severe.
  2. Nausea– there is an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach, and you might feel like vomiting.
  3. Stomach ache– this is a pain occurring in between the chest and pelvic area of your body. Severity varies from cramps or sharp pain to dull and erratic pain.
  4. Insomnia– people have problems sleeping. In this condition, you might have trouble sleeping or waking up several times at night. This leads to mental stress and other physical issues.
  5. Aggressive behaviour– this type of behaviour might result in physical harm as well. Those suffering from this kind of behaviour can harm others, personal property, or even themselves.
  6. Constipation– here, people suffer from hard or dry stools, fewer bowel movements, and pain during bowel movements. This, in turn, leads to many other health issues.

    harmful effects of lead paint

    harmful effects of lead paint

  7. Loss of appetite– people do not feel like eating when they loose appetite. There is no hunger feeling, and they might even start to dislike some of their favourite dishes.
  8. High blood pressure– with high blood pressure, there will be exertion with which blood passes through the vessels, and it’s more often on the higher side. This can eventually lead to damage to the kidney, heart, or brain.
  9. Irritation– you tend to get upset or frustrated with small matters. This can be a reason for some physical or mental ailment.
  10. Fatigue– in this case, the person concerned will experience a lack of energy and tiredness. Sometimes it can lead to drowsiness, but it’s more about feeling like there is no energy left to do anything.  
  11. Loss of skills in developing children– children might face development issues like learning the language, speaking, thinking, or acting slower than the normal expectancy rate. It can even cause intellectual disability in children.
  12. Loss of memory– some people face progressive memory loss that gets more severe with age. It starts to hamper daily activities, which people miss out on doing or recalling.  
  13. Damage to kidneys and nerves– the kidneys stop functioning normally, leading to chronic kidney disease. It means that the kidney loses the power to flush the blood and waste properly from the body leading to waste build-up.


These are the harmful effects lead paint can impose on your body over a while. There can be serious and more severe complications in case lead enters the body in large quantities. Vomiting, coma, unstable walking, severe stomach cramps, or seizures are some of such.

Make sure you immediately contact your doctor if you see any signs of lead poisoning. He/she will suggest a blood lead test that will determine if there are any lead particles in your blood. Even a small quantity of lead can be quite harmful. According to the doctors, a low level of lead, like five micrograms per decilitre, will cause health problems in children.



If you have doubts about whether your house has lead paint, simply repaint it. You need not remove the lead paint for that. Unless the paint is not coming off on its own, you can paint over it. However, the lead paint under your new paint is still there to impose dangers on your health.

While preparing the surface for repainting, dust adds to the air that is not good for health. Therefore, you should go for a lead-safe expert contractor for repainting your house. They will make your house lead-free, ensuring more safety.