The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, provides guidelines and information for people who want to purchase a home built prior to 1978, when lead-based paints were outlawed. Per EPA guidelines, purchasers must be advised of the potential lead paint and take precautions upon inhabiting the home.
Real estate disclosure forms may be found on the EPA website, and must be included whenever a dwelling that may contain lead-based paint is sold or leased. All available records regarding the home's history and potential presence of lead-based paint must be provided to potential purchasers or renters. The EPA website also includes a database of certified inspectors who can test for the presence of lead-based paint during the real estate negotiations or before any renovations are undertaken.
Many of the guidelines outlined in the EPA's pamphlet "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home" relate to preparing and maintaining the home that includes young children, who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead. The agency recommends that home surfaces, particularly floors and window sills, and children's belongings should be cleaned thoroughly and often. Parents who are especially concerned should contact their child's pediatrician to obtain a blood test that checks for lead exposure.