How to check your home for lead exposure

Posted at 6:34 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-27 18:34:09-04

The number of children with lead in their blood in Erie County has plateaued over the last few years, but remains roughly 10% higher than the state average.

93% of homes in Buffalo were built before 1980 - lead-based paint wasn't banned until 1978. That means those homes that are more than 38 years old are at risk of lead exposure.

But there is a way to quickly check your home for lead. Hardware stores sell instant lead test kits, which you can scrub on surfaces like chipped paint, window sills, and pipes. The liquid the kit contains drips onto the surface, without staining it, and will appear red if it picks up traces of lead.

Areas like Erie County, with nine zip codes with the highest rates of lead poisoning in New York State, have lead testing sessions that will teach you how to check your home for lead, and what to do if you find it.

If you are concerned about lead in your home, you can call LEADSAFE Erie County at (716) 961-6800, or your county's health department.