Lead is a toxic element that is typically found in the paint of houses built before 1978. Lead also occurs in old lead plumbing and possibly in some modern brass plumbing fixtures. Lead poisoning can occur by breathing dust that contains lead particles while remodeling. Sealing the lead-based paint with a fresh coat of paint can minimize the risk of lead poisoning. A proper breathing apparatus and caution should be used when sanding or removing old paint or when remodeling work is being performed in a pre-1978 property. Federal legislation requires a lead disclosure form to be completed by the seller when every real estate transaction is finalized. The presence of lead in a house doesn't mean that the property should be avoided, but the awareness that lead may be present will allow you to take proper precautions to minimize the risk of lead poisoning.