In 1994 two members of Led Zeppelin recorded and released “No Quarter,” a live acoustic album. It was subtitled “Unledded” and was an immediate success.

In 1978 residential use of lead-based paint was banned. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was charged with regulating lead-based hazards. The EPA’s work wasn’t an immediate success.

If your house was built before 1978, it likely contains lead-based paint. Lead was added to oil paints to add color, accelerate drying, increase water resistance and enhance durability.

The problems with lead have been well known and documented since the 4th century B.C. It’s no surprise the EPA wasn’t able to resolve the problem overnight. Health problems caused by lead exposure are large and varied. Adults may suffer from reproductive problems, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems, muscle and joint pain. Kids suffer the most from lead exposure since they spend more time on the floor and are more likely to put their hands and other items that can have lead-based paint dust on them into their mouths. Exposure can lead to brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavioral difficulties, slowed growth, hearing problems and headaches.

We know that lead is seriously bad for us. How can we minimize the risk? By minimizing exposure. We’re only talking about lead in paint today. Here are some ways to deal with lead paint in your house.

• Test for lead. It’s easy and is about $5 per test. A lead test is about the same size as a short pencil. It’s a cardboard tube around a glass cylinder. You squeeze the tube to break it, shake it, and rub the tip on the surface to be tested. If it turns red, you have lead.

• When disturbing lead-based paint, isolate and contain the area. Keep your kids, pets, and all non-workers out of the area. Don’t eat or smoke while removing paint. Wear coveralls and a respirator. Bathe and change to clean clothes before interacting with anyone else. Wash your work clothes separately.

• Generally, the larger the paint chips, the easier to contain. Scrape instead of sand. If you power sand, connect your sander to a HEPA vac. A regular shop vac will not effectively contain dust. Do not use heat to remove lead-based paint.

• Painted areas that rub against each other, such as windows, are high risk for exposure. Be diligent in keeping those surfaces clean. Wet wash rather than dust.

• Don’t plant edibles near your house where the likelihood of lead-based paint in the soil is high.

• The Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule requires that if you’re paying someone to do any renovation, repair, or painting to a pre-1978 dwelling, they need to have been trained, and accredited, and to follow specific work practice standards. If you hire someone, ask if they’re RRP certified. If they have no idea what you’re talking about or think it’s a joke, don’t hire them.

Lead in paint is such a huge topic and problem, I’m hesitant to touch on it so lightly. My hope is to simply raise awareness.