Beware of Lead Paint
If you are or know of a school teacher who is trying to get their Master's or Doctorate degree and they need a neat subject for their dissertation, I have one! Here is what they need to study. Let's look at the incidence of kids with learning disabilities. Let's compare the number of kids per thousand who have all sorts of disabilities and see the age of the houses they live in. Compare the number of kids with learning disabilities in suburban areas built prior to 1978 and inner city areas to those suburbs built in the 1980's and beyond.
I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the statistics will shock all of us. In other words, I would be willing to bet that many of the learning disabilities are related to mild and severe cases of lead poisoning. My guess is that you will not find a statistically high number of kids with learning disabilities in houses built after 1978. This is the year that lead based paints were banned for residential use in the USA.
Exterior Hazard Too!
Don't forget that the exterior of many an old home is covered with paint. Much of this old paint contains vast amounts of lead. It is very risky to sand exterior painted surfaces as you prep an old house for a new paint job. Lead dust can enter an open window or drop down and poison the soil below. If a garden is nearby, the lead might be introduced to the garden soil by erosion or the wind.
If a painter is going to scrape old lead paint, make sure they spread drop cloths that capture all of the scrapings. Dispose of the paint chips off site. You really need to think before you work with any old painted surfaces.