by Dave Logan Lead poisoning is serious business. From deficient physical development, to kidney problems and muscle irritations, to brain damage. None of it sounds too appealing. Lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning in children and can also affect adults. In Colorado, contractors can now face extremely steep penalties and fines if they don’t actively test for lead on painted surfaces. The challenge with lead is that you cannot see it, smell it, or taste it. You might have it in your home and not even know it. Lead also doesn’t break down naturally over time, so it will remain a health threat until you have it removed. About 75% of all homes built before 1978 contain at least some lead-based paint. Lead paint is most common on exterior surfaces, windows, and doors. After 1978, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned all use of lead-based paint in housing. It’s simple: if you live in an older home, you are at a higher risk of lead-based paint exposure. So how do you check for it? If your home was built before 1978, the first thing to do is purchase a test kit from your hardware or paint supply store. It’s important to remember that these kits are designed to detect only the presence of lead. The kits will not tell you if the lead levels are low or high. If necessary, ask for help in choosing a kit, and follow the instructions on the kit to test a surface. The bottom line is that in order to completely â€“ and safely â€“ remove lead-based paint from your home, you will need to hire a Colorado professional painting contractor. Not only will a professional have the knowledge and skills for the task, but also a pro will likely be able to inform you of Colorado lead paint regulations. Check out our list of qualified painting and home improvement pros in Denver, Boulder, and the front range. And finally, consult the Colorado Department of Health and Environment â€“ Air Pollution Control Division for lead-based paint questions and more information. For more helpful information on these and other home improvement projects, check in often with the TDL Blog. And don’t forget to visit TeamDaveLogan.com to find a trusted home improvement professional in Denver and Boulder that will help you with your next project!