The March 2 article on lead paint by James Fuller was interesting and very true. As an Illinois licensed Lead Risk Assessor, I encounter these situations on a regular basis.
The solution to the issue of lead paint and its negative effects are that, with a proper HUD Protocol Chapter 5 Risk Assessment, all guesswork, apprehension and tragedy can be eliminated.
Since the early 1990s we have been involved in lead paint inspections and risk assessments, working for both government and private individuals and have seen the evolutionary curve. Overall there is much less incidence of high blood level lead poisoning, but problem areas remain.
The solution is a step by step road map to correcting the issues. There may be small corrections or hot spots that can be addressed, sometimes by the homeowner personally. All of the lead paint problem areas can be identified using X-ray fluorescence equipment along with dust and soil sampling, services which the Risk Assessor should be able to provide.
There is also a booklet by EPA called the Tool Box Guide. This explains how to safely do lead based paint clean up and corrections and can be obtained from EPA online.
All said, a good lead risk assessor should be able to answer all questions on lead based problems in the home. All the issues should be simplified and written out for any lead abatement professional or lay person to read and understand. To ensure that resources are put to the right causes, if you suspect a lead problem in your home, contact a licensed lead paint risk assessor.
Edward R. Topp
Elk Grove Village