Lead exposure as a result of disturbing lead paint is becoming a prominent safety concern in renovation, construction and demolition. Whenever renovating older buildings, lead exposure is a potential risk. Lead exposure has been linked to an array of ailments, from developmental disorders to hearing loss.
Until it was banned for household use in 1978, lead was a very common paint additive. It was often added because it would increase moisture resistance, durability, drying speed and help the paint keep its fresh appearance. Unfortunately, while there are many benefits to using lead in paint there were also a lot of dangers connected with its use, mainly child lead poisoning.
Because of their natural curiosity and desire to touch everything, lead paint is particularly dangerous to small children. Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary for a child to ingest lead paint chips to become exposed to lead. The most common problem is that children become exposed just by breathing the lead dust that results from deteriorating paint or remodeling. Further contributing to the dangers of lead paint is its sweet flavor, which makes child exposure even more probable.
Lead poisoning occurs when high levels of lead, which is a heavy metal, buildup in your body. This is particularly dangerous because lead can affect many of your body processes and soft tissues including your intestines, nervous system, kidneys, bones, heart, reproductive system and brain function. Children are highly susceptible to lead poisoning because it can cause permanent learning and behavioral issues as a result of the damaging of the nervous system. Because of the many ways that you can be exposed to lead, many people experience symptoms of lead poisoning without ever knowing that they have come into contact with it. Symptoms can include irritability, abdominal pain, headache, confusion and anemia. At high levels, it can cause seizures or a coma.
If your home was constructed before 1978, you should have your paint checked for lead. Especially if you have children under age six. Because lead removal and paint content is highly regulated by the EPA and other state and federal organizations, there are many programs in place to assist you in testing and abating any dangerous lead that may be in your paint or plumbing. The experts at 247 Building Maintenance work side by side with the proper authorities to ensure that all trouble areas in your home are thoroughly inspected for lead content. If it's determined that there are dangerous elements within your home, we can provide you with a recommendation for the abatement and cleanup of any contamination that exists in your property
Due to the lead's toxic nature, inappropriate lead abatement can actually be more damaging than no abatement at all. During a typical job, we contain the affected area, utilize negative air filtration to prevent further contamination, HEPA vacuum and wet wipe non porous surfaces and remove and dispose of lead building materials that can't be salvaged. This can includes the removal or encapsulation of lead-based paint, contaminated dust, contaminated soil, and the replacement or removal of any lead-painted surfaces.
Whether you have children or not, any and all older homes should be thoroughly tested for lead-based paint. If you suspect that there might be dangerous condition in your home, please don't hesitate to call 247 Building Maintenance today!