Shelby County housing inspector Michael Burnett arrived recently at the home of a 75-year-old great-grandmother, armed with an X-ray fluorescence gun. He was there to test for lead.
The Commercial Appeal reported Burnett found it.
The discovery was important for Barbara Weeden, who babysits her great-grandchildren at the home while their parents work.
The federal government did not outlaw the use of lead in paint until 1978, so any home built before that date could have it.
Children are still being irreversibly poisoned by lead paint from ingesting the chips or from exposure to tiny particles of dust. Since the mid-1990s, both the city of Memphis and Shelby County have been awarded federal grants that total $33 million for lead hazard reduction efforts.