Lead is a substance, which if present in the human body in high levels, can lead to lead poisoning. Children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can retard their growth, lead to memory problems, poor concentration, and also brain damage. Lead poisoning can occur through various sources of lead in and around your home such as, lead in drinking water, lead in soil, lead in cosmetics etc. One of the leading sources of lead, which leads to lead poisoning is – Lead Paint.
Lead in Paint
Lead, which is present in household paint, can be a very serious health hazard and can severely affect the health of people, especially children. In 1978, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission passed a rule, whereby all kinds of household paint could have only very small quantities of lead. The legally allowed amounts are so little that they can almost be considered negligible.
But before 1978, when there was no control on the amount of lead that could be present in paint, there were large quantities of lead present in what was known as lead based paint. This paint was used in a majority of homes and constructions, and was also used for painting doors and window sills.
Even though lead paint is now banned for use in homes and construction, most old homes and construction from before 1980, may have lead paint. Today, an estimated 40% of all homes across America are said to have lead based paint present in the homes.
Dangers of Lead Paint
Lead from lead paint can cause a host of health problems, especially in small children. Lead paint, which is in bad shape and is deteriorating, can chip and fall all over the home. Such chipped lead paint is often picked up and eaten by small children, thus resulting in lead poisoning.
Lead dust from lead paint is another major concern. Here are some ways in which lead paint dust can be present in your home:
Lead dust can be present all over your home because of activities such as vacuuming and moving around the home. Lead dust settles on food and can be ingested by way of such contaminated food stuff. Lead dust can settle on the hands of small children and can find its way into their bodies by way of thumb sucking, eating, or putting their hands in their mouth. Inhaling lead dust from lead paint can also increase the levels of lead in the body, which could cause lead poisoning.
Testing For Lead Paint
If you live in an old home or are renting premises that have been constructed before 1978, then it is to the advantage of the health of your family members to get your home tested for presence of lead paint.
If lead paint is used in your home, and is in deteriorating condition, then you should take immediate steps to get it removed. Renovating your home and trying to remove lead paint from your premises, should not be undertaken by you. Removing lead based paint results in a lot of lead dust being created, which can be detrimental to your health. Thus, you should avail the services of professional lead paint removers to do the job for you.
If you are renting a place, which has lead paint, then it is the legal responsibility of your landlord, to get the lead paint removed from your rented premises.
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