Some of the most severely intrusive construction laws this country has ever experienced are being put into effect April 22– 2010 . On that date the EPA has mandated and put into law some very specific laws concerning any house built before 1978 . Any paid Contractor, plumber, painter or Electrician who works on any house in the USA built before 1978 , is by federal law mandated to follow some very careful and closely monitored work practices . All in the interest of protecting Children from possible lead paint dust residues.Just a bit over 200 Children were diagnosed with high lead levels in our State of SC last year .None actually died from it ..
It was only after vigorous lobbying that homeowners were exempted from these rules if they did their own work on their own house . For now , at least .
In comparison ,almost a thousand People died in our state of SC from Automobile accidents in 2009 . Many more thousands were seriously hurt and many mained for life by Autos . Shouldn’t some agency from the government insist that all speed limits be dropped at once to 25 MPH ? Maybe they could exempt Police & fire Departments from that .
On 3 continents in the world , most paint is today still slightly enhanced with lead , to make paint stronger . But since 1978 all paint legally sold in the USA is completely free of all traces of lead .
There are several paths of potential outcome for this if this law is nationally enforced , as it appears now.Huge fines are proposed for offenders , and also an insidious system of bounty hunting is set to help enforcement . In other words , if you squeal on your neighbor , or a contractor , and they are fined , you get part of the fine for turning them in .
The worst case scenario is that with time all residences in the USA built before 1978 will be torn down and taken to the dump . All of them , with very few exceptions . that would be about half the houses in the USA . One exception may be the White House in D.C.
Another scenario is that we learn to live with it , somewhat like the asbestos thing over the last 30 years . There are still a lot of houses with asbestos in or on them , and they suffer a bit of loss to their value , though not that much .
And what do we think ? Avoid buying a house built before 1978 like you would the plague .(Just avoid it ). At least for now . Until this gets studied about a bit more . Values of houses built before 1978 will almost surely trend downwards , just because of that . Perhaps by a lot .
What to do if you already own a house built before 1978 ?. Any house that has even the 1st permit of any kind pulled before 1978 is at this point in that category . Expect to pay from 30% to 50% more for repair work of almost any kind on the houses. At least if the hired out work is done legally.
One School of thought is that if you wrap the outside of the house , including overhangs , with sidings will help . Also replacing all original windows and doors ,including facings , represents 90% of potential lead-bleeding. There go all the beautiful wavy glass windows everyone have been preserving for the last 60 years. The paint companies have claimed since the mid-40′s that there is no lead in their paint . However , random government testing has found about 8% of tested paints had a trace of lead in it , right up to the 1970′s.
And yet ,many millions of Children’s and Adult’s lives are put at risk daily by the Smoking of tobacco.