Last year, Angie’s List launched an investigation to discover how much contractors on the List actually knew about the dangers of lead paint. Our findings revealed that more than one-third were giving homeowners dangerous information, and I’m sorry to say that we’ve seen little progress over the past year despite extensive outreach and imminent federal action.
Angie’s List revisited the lead safety
investigation this summer, expanding our reach to 30 cities across the country and resurveying members nationwide. We found that 30 percent of the contractors who responded gave dangerous advice about lead paint compared to 34 percent in 2007 — a slight improvement, but still way too high.
Just like last year, most of our members who recently had work done that disturbed paint in their pre-1978 homes reported that they’d not been warned of the potential for lead paint danger, nor did their contractors give them the EPA’s required lead safety pamphlet.
Why is this important? Because more than 38 million U.S. homes were built before 1978 — the year lead paint was banned from residential use. As these homes deteriorate or are renovated, lead paint is released, exposing children who live there to lead poisoning.
There is no level of lead inblood that has been deemed safe. A lead particle the size of a grain of salt will elevate a child’s blood-lead level. The worst cases of exposure result in irreversible brain damage. More than 300,000 children under age 6 already suffer from lead poisoning.
Our member survey showed us that 14 percent of Angie’s List members (up from 9 percent) have had their children tested for lead toxicity in the past year. Nearly 20 percent of them credited our 2007 outreach for helping them to know more about the dangers of lead, but clearly, more needs to be done. Angie’s List will continue to raise awareness about the dangers of lead poisoning. Please help do your part to erase this entirely preventable threat.