What is Lead?

Lead-Based paint is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes and buildings in places including paint, ceramics, pipes and plumbing materials, solders, gasoline, batteries, ammunition and cosmetics.

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Where is Lead found

If your home was built before 1978, chances are it contains lead paint.  Even today, it remains in more homes than not.  Most homes have been repainted several times since the original paint was placed, if the current paint is in good condition, the underlying lead-based paint is usually not a problem.  It is when the paint begins to deteriorate, or is removed when the Lead becomes hazardous.  

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Although Lead is often found on painted walls, pipes and plumbing, older porcelain dishes, as well as in the water and soil.

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Dangers of Lead

Because Lead paint is so dangerous to our well being that it is required by law for any homeowner, real estate agent, or landlord to disclose any known information before selling or renting a property. Children 6 years old and younger are more at risk because their brain and nervous system are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead. Younger children often use their hands to explor, putting them and other objects that may contain lead from dust or soil on them, into their mouths. Some health effects caused by lead range from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Adults are not exempt from dangers to lead exposure. Adults can ingest lead by eating or drinking from dishes that contain lead. Adults exposed to lead would have effects such as an increase in blood pressure, decreased kidney function, and reproductive problems for both men and women. Pregnant women are higher risks simply because of the exposure for the unborn child.

Protect your family and home

Simple steps like keeping your home clean and well-maintained will go a long way in preventing lead exposure. You can lower the chances of exposure to lead in your home, both now and in the future, by taking these steps:

    • Inspect and maintain all painted surfaces to prevent paint deterioration

    • Address water damage quickly and completely

    • Keep your home clean and dust-free

    • Clean around painted areas where friction can generate dust, such as doors, windows, and drawers. Wipe these areas with a wet sponge or rag to remove paint chips or dust

    • Use only cold water to prepare food and drinks

    • Clean debris out of outlet screens or faucet aerators on a regular basis

    • Wash children's hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often

    • Teach children to wipe and remove their shoes and wash hands after playing outdoors

    • Ensure that your family members eat well-balanced meals. Children with healthy diets absorb less lead. See Lead and a Healthy Diet, What You Can Do to Protect Your Child.

    • If you are having home renovation, repairs, or painting done, make sure your contractor is Lead-Safe Certified, and make sure they follow lead safe work practices.

     

     

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