Lead-based paint is a common health hazard that can be eliminated safely with professional help.
Lead-based paint is a common health hazard found in homes built prior to 1978, when it was banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In general, lead-based paint is safe as long as the paint coat remains intact. When the paint begins to chip and flake due to age, or when it is worn away by friction in doorjambs or window sashes, the resulting leaded particles can pose serious health risks.
Dangers of Lead-Based Paint Exposure
Lead is quite toxic, and high levels of exposure can be deadly. Lower levels of exposure can cause damage to the brain, kidneys, blood cells, and central nervous system. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning. Physical and mental developmental issues, as well as behavioral problems and lowered IQs in infants and children have been linked to high lead exposure. Experts believe that children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning not only because their tissues are still developing, but also because they are likely to put contaminated objects in their mouths.
Removing Lead Paint
It is not wise to attempt to remove lead-based paint yourself. The normal activities used to prep old homes for painting, such as scraping, sanding, and stripping, actually make the problem worse by releasing clouds of lead dust into the air. The average homeowner is simply not prepared to handle this hazardous material properly. A professional lead paint removal company will be fully equipped to minimize and contain the lead dust created during the project, as well as properly dispose of the waste, leaving you with a safe, clean home.
If it is not practical to remove the lead-based paint in your home right now, there are some other steps you can take to protect your family from the dangers posed by lead paint. Damaged or undamaged lead paint can be encapsulated using a sealant or enclosed behind paneling or drywall. Keeping areas where children play clean and dust-free will also help reduce the chances of harmful lead dust affecting your family’s health. You can even purchase special cleaners designed for lead paint dust. One final step to take is to make sure your kids are getting proper nutrition, as children who have plenty of iron and calcium in their systems naturally absorb less lead when exposed to it.
If you believe there is lead-based paint dust in your home, you need to act now. Call in a professional for advice regarding lead paint removal, and ask your doctor about getting your children tested for lead paint exposure.