In older houses, a trove of lead risks

Source: Dima Williams , Washington Post (Paid Registration)

Ingested or breathed in, lead — a toxic metal once widely used in paint, pipes and finishes — accumulates in bones and harms the brain and kidneys, among other organs.

Lead inspections are costly, so home kits offer a substitute. While some contractors favor them to gauge the need for safeguards against lead, others do not recommend home tests for lay use as they require the baring of every coat of paint. If dust holds lead in lower amounts than the postulated levels, thorough and regular cleaning with wet towels and a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum usually tampers any danger.

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