Lead poisoning is a serious problem, and it can have many adverse effects on health. In children, high levels of lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems, slow growth, and hearing problems. In adults, lead poisoning can cause reproductive problems, high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorder, memory and concentration problems, and muscle and joint pain.
Lead poisoning is especially a problem in older cities, where lead is present in the paint from older buildings, in the water supply, and in the environment from cars and buses. Preventing lead poisoning in large cities, where there is so much possibility for exposure is both difficult and expensive. Federal programs have attempted to address this problem.
For buyers and sellers of houses, lead poisoning is also an issue. Houses that were built before 1978 probably have paint that contains lead. Federal law requires that sellers of houses built before 1978 disclose known information on lead-base paint hazards before selling a house. Sales contracts must include a federal form about lead-based paint in the building. Buyers will have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards and are likely to stipulate corrections.