I have a property registered with the NPS as historic (registered 1985). I have stained glass windows that block egress exits and contain lead. Lead is bad for kids and people probably want to get out when there's a fire.

Has anyone had any experiences with historic property fixer uppers? My understanding is that once you accept Federal monies for repair, your hands are tied. Then there's state and county areas, which I have no clue about.

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Not sure about your primary question, but I have never heard anyone say that leaded stained glass windows are a health hazard?  If your kids are chewing on the stained glass windows, then that is an issue.  But I have never heard of that happening.   I don't want to sound harsh, but if you want to remove original stained glass from your house, then having a historic house might not be a good fit for you. 

My understanding is that HUD takes swabs of the building to verify areas are not contaminated with lead. The cementing process with stained glass typically uses linseed oil, charcoal, lead, and a few other ingredients.

Also, I found this regarding stained glass health hazards: http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/chemicals-management/lead/...

It's an interesting read.

Please educate yourself before you make any decisions about these windows.  There is no way your kids are going to be exposed to lead by the presence of leaded glass windows.  Also, are you saying that there are bedrooms with no windows that open?

I've talked to the Federal, state, city (regarding county and city requirements) of what I can do with the building. More so, than when I first posted my question.

That is correct, there are no windows that open.

Hence, my looking into their removal.

Here's an article about stained glass and kids: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/special_packages/toxic-city/Physi...

I suspect that your property is a commercial rather than a residential building. No older home would have had nonfunctional windows as opening a window was the only method of ventilation, air conditioning did not exist.  Perhaps you are attempting to renovate a church with many stained glass windows?  If so, removing the windows would probably leave you with a very unattractive building..the original character would be lost. And, if your intended bedrooms would have no egress, then perhaps this  building is not a good choice for a residential home.

As for the hazard of stained glass I think that the concern is over warranted.  The 2 articles posted above do not support removal.  The first article mainly addresses the hazards in the work environment of craftsmen who work in close proximity doing repairs, etc., not homeowners.  The 2nd article describes the already known fact of lead toxicity through ingestion.  The parents of the affected child readily admit that routine cleaning was rarely done and the child was permitted to rub socks on the windowsill and then put them into his mouth calling it “sock soup”.  This better supports lack of common sense rather than the hazard of living with stained glass.

In the end, the choice is yours to do whatever you like with your property.  Whatever your decision, good luck with the restoration or renovation.

It may also be possible to make the fixed leaded glass windows (depending on size of course) operational and thus suitable for egress. We are doing this now on another project.


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