Lead can be found in older homes.
Primarily it was used in paints.
Now that the health effects of lead are better understood (lowering IQ, amongst other things), lead has been phased out. Note – it has been replaced by antimony.
If you are in an older home, it is recommended to test for lead – both in the blood and the home (contact me if you want a lead assessment done). Blood lead levels should be below 1ug/dL- if not, remedial action is recommended by the LEADGroup.
In many cases, lead is encapsulated (or enclosed) under layers of newer paint, and only becomes a problem when it is sanded or begins peeling.
However, lead dust can often be generated when (old) sashed windows are used. The one in the picture below is one such window. Lead paint often sends up on the sashes, and when the windows are opened or closed, it can cause lead dust to be released.
How do you know if you have sashed windows?
Take a look at them. If they slide up and down, and you can see a rope, you have sashed windows.