Lead poisoning is a big concern for children but it also affects adults. Lead poisoning in children is known to cause irreversible brain damage and impairs mental functioning according to Home Inspectors Huntley IL. It can retard development mentally and physically and reduce the attention span. Even at extremely low levels it is known to retard fetal development. Adults may experience irritability, poor muscle coordination, and damage to the nerves of the sense organs and nerves that control the body. Lead poisoning may also cause problems with reproduction (such as a decreased sperm count) and may also increase blood pressure.
Lead Based Paint is hazardous to your health.
Lead-based paint is a major contributing source of lead poisoning. Lead was added to “alkyd” oil based paint as a pigment and drying agent. Statistics show that about two-thirds of the homes built before 1940 and one-half of the homes built from 1940 to 1960 contain paint with heavy lead content. Even some homes built after 1960 also contain heavily-leaded paint. It may be found on any interior or exterior surface, most commonly 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).
Lead enters the body when it is ingested or inhaled. The most common way children are exposed to lead is from chipping, peeling, or flaking lead-based paint or lead dust. The lead dust can get on their toys and hands. It is ingested when they put their hands or toys in their mouths. Children can also get lead poisoning by chewing or sucking on painted surfaces or paint chips that contain high levels of lead.
Before renovating or if the paint or underlying surface is deteriorating in a home constructed before the 1980s, consider having the paint tested for lead. There are some do it yourself test kits available that use sodium sulfide. These types of tests produce many false positives due to other metals in the paint and some resins may not allow the solution to contact the lead. The most reliable way to test for lead based paint is to have a sample taken and sent to a lab.
If it is determined you have lead-based paint in your home, you should take steps to reduce your exposure to lead. These steps are:
- Have the lead-based paint removed.
- Have the painted item replaced.
- Cover the lead-based paint with a sealer or paint. However, painting over lead-based paint with non-lead paint is not a long-term solution.
- Reduce lead dust exposure by mopping and wiping surface and floors with a high phosphorous cleaning solution. This is a preventive measure and is not an alternative to replacement or removal, it is a temporary precaution until the paint is removed or the item is replaced.
Professionals are available to remove, replace, or cover lead-based paint. If you have any questions about lead based paint or any other concern in your home, please call our office immediately. The safety of you and your family is our top concern.
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Lead Based Paint Detection
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