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Lead was a common component of interior and exterior paints before 1978 when federal regulations heavily restricted its use. Lead is a highly-toxic metal that can lead to serious health problems in vulnerable populations, including pregnant women and young children. When lead is ingested and absorbed in the body, it can damage the brain, blood and vital organs. It can also lead to learning disabilities and behavioral problems in children, but all people do not necessarily show symptoms outside of blood tests. It’s important to remember that lead poisoning occurs from the ingestion of lead-based paint dust. The paint itself, providing that there is no cracking, peeling, chipping or damage, is not inherently dangerous.