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Behr has never made a paint product that contained lead pigment. However, for many years prior to 1978, other paint manufacturers did make paint that contained lead pigments. Why should that concern you? Because paint containing lead pigments can be very hazardous to your health, especially for small children and pregnant women. This is particularly true when old paint containing lead pigment is sanded or scraped off a wall or other surface. The dust from sanding can contain lead particles that might be breathed in or swallowed. Cracking or peeling is also a concern. If a young child eats peeling paint containing lead pigment, they can significantly raise the level of lead in their bodies. This can lead to brain damage and other health risks.
We are concerned about your health and want to make sure you are aware of the risks associated with sanding or scraping old paint. That is why we began putting lead warning statements on our products several years ago despite the fact that our products have never contained lead pigments. It's also why Behr has actively participated in setting the national standards for lead warnings with the National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA) and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).
Lead was a common ingredient in paint for over a hundred years. In 1978, federal regulations were passed that banned the use of lead in any consumer paints. This is why certain precautions must be taken when working on a home that was built prior to 1978.
Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment, such as a properly fitted respirator (National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) approved), proper containment with plastic sheets or other containment devices, and cleanup with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) vacuum and a wet mop.
Before you start your project, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to www.epa.gov/lead. We have also provided brochures to our retailers that you can pick up free of charge wherever Behr paint is sold.
Lead Paint Safety: A Field Guide for Painting, Home Maintenance, and Renovation Work by the EPA, HUD, and CDC
Testing Your Home For Lead by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide. "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home (English):"
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide. "Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home (En Español):"
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on "Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program"