Question

Where in the Bay Area can I buy lead paint sealer/encapsulant (Lead Stop, Child Guard, LBC or Nansulate)? It's hard to find!

Asked by Aimee
El Sobrante, CA

We are moving into a 1929 house that needs some touch-ups on the windows to make sure we have no lead ingestion. We'd like to find a store in the Bay Area to buy it so we can get it quickly. Paint stores like Benjamin Moore, Kelly Moore, and Home Depot don't carry/have never heard of these products.

Answer

Your home might have been sanded and re-painted already, so you might not have to worry about the paint in your home.

First, test for lead to find out if your home has lead paint.  (Click the link in the "for more information" section below to find a lead testing kit.)

If you do have lead, I would suggest that you:

  • put up a child-safe fence around window sills (and make sure you have no chipping paint elsewhere) or
  • have all the lead paint removed in a safe manner and repaint.

You're right to be concerned about lead ingestion. Here is an alarming story of children with lead poisoning, and here is a more moderate source of information from the EPA.

I have a personal interest in getting the EPA lead-safe agenda into the forefront of the green building movement and think it should play a prominent role in responsible deconstruction education. The EPA lead-safe certification course contains no information on encapsulating lead paint. No matter how much you cover lead paint, if you disturb it, you will have lead.

Some of the marketing literature of the products you mentioned says to avoid high-traffic areas and to only paint over areas in good condition (again, you don't need to worry about lead paint unless you disturb it). Two of the products you mention contain a bitter taste to discourage chewing; however, a highly motivated child will be undeterred by any taste.


For more information:

Read Steve Rush's Q&A "How do you deal with existing, possibly toxic, wall and floor finishes?"

Check Consumer Reports review of lead testing kit here

Tagged In: lead paint

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