Lead poisoning can pose a serious threat to you and your family’s health, and if your home was built prior to 1978, there are a few things you should know about the dangers of lead paint. Many homeowners consider themselves safe from lead paint if their home has been repainted many times; however, you may still be at risk if that paint is chipping or sanded down to create dust. Even in small amounts, lead paint still still a danger.
Lead is extremely toxic, and before the toxicity of lead was documented, it was used in several materials, including paint and gasoline. Perhaps the scariest part about lead is that it cannot be smelled or seen, yet it will cause significant damage if left in your home. It is possible for lead to be in:
- House paint made or used prior to 1978
- Plumbing materials like faucets and pipes in homes
- Utensils, plates, and other serving ware made from pewter
- Some batteries
- Paint and art sets for children
- Furniture and toys that were painted prior to 1976
If you or your family are exposed to lead paint through chipping paint or dust, it is possible to suffer from lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can be serious and can include the following symptoms:
- Lack of energy
- Frequent headaches
- Abdominal pain (usually from ingesting a large amount of lead)
- Moodiness and irritability
- Problems paying attention
- Behavioral issues
- Hearing difficulties
- Damage to kidneys
- Lower IQ
- Delayed physical and mental development
- Affected senses
Additionally, adults who are exposed to lead may experience:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Concentration and memory deficits
- High blood pressure levels
- Problems with nerves
- Reproductive issues
When you purchase a new home, you will be given a disclosure that tells what the current owners know about lead-based paint. Most of these disclosures state that if the home was built before 1978, you should be assume that there is some amount of lead paint in your home and take precautions.
If you are unsure about whether or not your home’s paint contains lead, you may have some samples tested. Although lab tests are the most reliable, they can be expensive and there are do-it-yourself kits available. If it turns out that there is lead paint in your home, there are safe ways to replace the paint.
- Renovate. We are EPA Certified Lead Paint Renovation professionals. We prep areas of flaking or peeling paint by scraping and priming prior to painting.
- Cover up lead paint. We can ensure that lead paint and its dust are safely covered and won’t cause any harm to your family.
- Replace trim containing lead paint. Any doors, windowsills, or other trim pieces that may have been painted with lead paint should be carefully removed to avoid creating dust. Afterwards, they should be replaced with lead-free materials.