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Dangers of Lead Paint

Even though lead paint is no longer used in most homes and products and certain lead paint regulations have been put in place, there is still potential danger of contracting lead poisoning from contact with lead paint. Those who live in older homes and collect antique furniture may become exposed to harmful lead-based paint if no lead paint abatement procedures have been conducted. This danger increases as renovations and repairs to these homes and items take place without precaution or encapsulating lead paint. Breathing in dust released during renovation around lead-based paint can cause certain symptoms of lead poisoning. Children are also very susceptible to poisoning themselves by ingesting lead-based painted chips. Lead paint abatement, or removal, is one way to decrease risks, but something as simple as wiping paint chips or visible dust with a wet sponge can help to protect from the onset of health effects of lead poisoning, including, but not limited to:

  • Brain damage
  • Nervous system conditions
  • Miscarriages and premature births
  • Reduced growth
  • Hearing and vision impairment
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle and joint pain

Lead Paint Abatement for Homeowners and Professionals
For homeowners, just covering or painting over lead paint will not solve the problem. When lead-painted surfaces rub together, as windows, doors, and drawers usually do when they open or close, lead dust can be released and paint can chip from the surface. Even deteriorating exterior painted porches and fences can cause lead-paint particles to be tracked inside the home. Whenever a renovation or repair needs to be done to an area where lead-based paint is used, it’s best to follow these instructions:

  • Cover floors with plastic and create an airlock seal around doors to the work area.
  • Remove everything from the room until after cleanup. Items that can’t be removed should be tightly secured in plastic.
  •  Turn off all forced-air systems (heating and air-conditioning), and cover vents with plastic.
  • Close all windows.
  • Spray water on the lead-painted surface to reduce spreading of dust.
  • Use proper equipment, such as HEPA filter respirator and vacuum cleaner, wet-sanding equipment, safe lead-based paint encapsulation products, heavy duty plastic sheeting, tape, and protective clothing.

While some homeowners may choose to renovate an area themselves, it’s recommended to hire a professional who specializes in lead paint abatement and encapsulation. These professionals will know the proper way to handle hammering, sanding, and sawing without dispersing toxic lead dust into the air when lead-based painted surfaces are disturbed. Professionals will also benefit from using specially formulated lead encapsulation products to make the job cost-effective, efficient, and safe



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