- Date: 12 April 2018
- Client: Monarch Group
- Project Type: Building Renovation
Did You Know that…
About two-thirds of the homes built before 1940 and one-half of the homes built from 1940 to 1960 contain heavily-leaded paint. Some homes built after 1960 also contain heavily-leaded paint.It may be on any interior or exterior surface, particularly on woodwork, doors, and windows.In 1978, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission lowered the legal maximum lead content in most kinds of paint to 0.06% (a trace amount). Consider having the paint in homes constructed before the 1980s tested for lead before renovating or if the paint or underlying surface is deteriorating.This is particularly important if infants, children, or pregnant women are present. Lead was used as a pigment and drying agent in “alkyd” oil based paint.”Latex” water based paints generally have not contained lead.
How Can I Be Exposed to Lead from Paint?
Ingesting and inhaling lead dust that is created as lead-based paint “chalks,” chips, or peels from deteriorated surfaces can expose pleople to lead. Walking on small paint chips found on the floor, or opening and closing a painted frame window, can also create lead dust. Other sources of lead include deposits that may be present in homes after years of use of leaded gasoline and from industrial sources like smelting. You can also generate lead dust by sanding lead-based paint or by scraping or heating lead-based paint. Lead dust can settle on floors, walls, and furniture.Under these conditions, children can ingest lead dust from hand-to-mouth con-tact or in food. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air through cleaning, such as sweeping or vacuuming, or by movement of people throughout the house. Eating paint chips is one way young children are exposed to lead.It is not the most common way that pleople, in general, are exposed to lead.
- Avoid removing paint in the home unless you are sure it contains no lead.Lead paint should only be removed by someone who knows how to protect you from lead paint dust.However, by washing floors, window sills, carpets, upholstery and any objects children put in their mouths, you can get rid of this source of lead.
- You can temporarily reduce lead hazards by taking actions such as repairing damaged painted surfaces and planting grass to cover soil with high lead levels.These actions (called “interim controls”) are not permanent solutions and will need ongoing attention.
- To permanently remove lead hazards, you must hire a certified lead “abatement” contractor. Abatement (or permanent hazard elimination) methods include removing, sealing, or enclosing lead-based paint with special materials. Just painting over the hazard with regular paint is not enough.
- Always hire a person with special training for correcting lead problems someone who knows how to do this work safely and has the proper equipment to clean up thoroughly.Certified contractors will employ qualified workers and follow strict safety rules set by their state or the federal government.
If you have lead-based paint, you should take steps to reduce your exposure to lead. You can:
- Have the painted item replaced. You can replace a door or other easily removed item if you can do it without creating lead dust. Items that are difficult to remove should be replaced by professionals who will control and contain lead dust.
- Cover the lead-based paint.
- You can spray the surface with a sealant or cover it with gypsum wallboard. However, painting over lead-based paint with non-lead paint is not a long-term solution.Even though the lead-based paint may be covered by non-lead paint, the lead-based paint may continue to loosen from the surface below and create lead dust.The new paint may also partially mix with the lead-based paint, and lead dust will be released when the new paint begins to deteriorate.
- Have the lead-based paint removed.
- Have professionals trained in removing lead-based paint do this work. Each of the paint-removal methods (sandpaper, scrapers, chemicals, sandblasters, and torches or heat guns) can produce lead fumes or dust.Fumes or dust can become airborne and beinhaled or ingested.Wet methods help reduce the amount of lead dust.Removing moldings, trim, window sills, and other paintedsurfaces for professional paint stripping outside the home may also create dust.Be sure the professionals contain the lead dust.Wet-wipe all surfaces to remove any dust or paint chips. Wet-clean the area before re-entry.
- You can remove a small amount of lead-based paint if you can avoid creating any dust. Make sure the surface is less than about one square foot (such as a window sill).Any job larger than about one square foot should be done by professionals.Make sure you can use a wet method (such as a liquid paint stripper).
- Reduce lead dust exposure.
- You can periodically wet mop and wipe surfaces and floors with a high phosphorous (at least 5%) cleaning solution.Wear waterproof gloves to prevent skin irritation.Avoid activities that will disturb or damage lead based paint and create dust.This is a preventive measure and is not an alternative to replacement or removal.
Lead Based Paint Is Hazardous To Your Health.
Too much lead in the human body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells.
Lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning for children and can also affect adults.
Lead poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage and can impair mental functioning.
It can retard mental and physical development and reduce attention span.It can also retard fetal development even at extremely low levels of lead.
A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a big effect on a small body
It can cause irritability. Poor muscle coordination. Nerve damage to the sense organs and nerves controlling the bod.y
Lead poisoning may also cause problems with reproduction (such as a decreased sperm count).
It may also increase blood pressure. Young children, fetuses, infants, and adults with high blood pressure are the most vulnerable to the effects of lead.