Beware of Lead-Based Paint

Beware of Lead-Based Paint

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Did you know that most houses built before 1978 are painted both inside and out with paint that contains lead? If you live in a house or are considering purchasing a house that was built before 1978, you should definitely get it tested for lead based paint. Why? Lead is a toxic metal that can cause serious health problems if it is ingested or if dust containing lead is inhaled. The paint is harmless if it isn’t chipped or deteriorating, but as soon as it does, it can be detrimental to your whole family’s health. The paint can start chipping off and contaminate the soil around the house, and can form into a dust that is inhaled inside the house or flakes that fall onto toys, clothes, furniture, etc. Especially if you have a little one that is crawling around, you want to be super careful in a house that contains lead based paint. Toddlers are more at risk of ingesting dangerous amount of lead because they’ll put their hands in their mouth any chance they get!

Lead based paint can cause many health problems. According to the U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development, “When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood. Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability. Children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms.”

If you live in, or are considering buying an old home that contains lead based paint, you can take steps that will reduce your chance of lead poisoning, or you can get the lead paint removed completely. Some things that you can do to reduce the chance of your family’s exposure to toxic lead are:

  • Hire a lead professional to test your home and the soil around your home for lead hazards.
  • Clean the house weekly to remove any lead dust. This includes mopping hard floors, vacuuming carpets, wipe down countertops and windowsills and throw away the towel. If possible, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter or a “higher efficiency” collection bag.
  • Take off shoes when entering the house just in case you stepped in any lead contaminated soil.
  • If you are doing any remodeling, take necessary precautions to avoid creating lead dust and blowing it into the air and around the house.

To avoid all lead hazards, you can hire a certified lead abatement contractor to completely remove the lead based paint or seal and enclose it with special materials. A certified professional will take all the necessary precautions to make sure that the lead is not spread throughout the house while the lead removal process is underway. Search online for a lead abatement professional near you to get a quote and find out more about the lead removal process.

As you can see, lead based paint is a huge hassle whether you have to constantly clean the house to reduce risk of lead exposure, or pay for a specialist to come out to your house to remove it. If you can, avoid buying a house with lead based paint so that you don’t have to worry about the health risks associated with lead poisoning.

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