If your home was built before 1978, it is likely that there was lead-based paint used. This applies to both the interior and exterior surfaces. You cannot tell by looking at it to make that determination, in fact it may have been painted over several times. This, however, does not eliminate the needs to determine if lead is in the paint, it must be tested to know for sure. We can make some early assumptions to determine if testing is required.
The age of the home is probably the most important consideration in determining if there is lead in your paint. Check out these statistics:
Year home Was Built % of homes withLead-Based Paint
Before 1940 86 percent
1940 – 1959 66 percent
1960 – 1978 25 percent
All Housing 35 percent
In 1978, the Consumer Products Safety Commission banned the sale of lead-based paint for residential use. Existing supplies may have been available for sale so the exact cutoff date is not clear, but 1978 is a good year to work with.