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How To Keep Your Family Safe From Lead Poisoning

Since 1978, lead-based paint has been banned from usage in homes due to the very serious threat of lead poisoning. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood.” Fortunately, water-based lead-free alternatives are now commonplace. However, because so many houses were built before 1978 that are still lived in today, we haven’t yet completely overcome the safety concerns related to lead-based paint.

What You Can Do Around The House

If your house was built before 1978, the threat of lead poisoning is a constant thing you need to keep in consideration and actively fight. A large number of houses before 1978 used lead-based paint and even if it’s been painted over, there can be many sources of lead in your home. Below is a chart from the EPA that shows the percentage of homes that used lead-based paint according to when they were built:

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The biggest danger for children is based around paint that is chipped or peeled off that easily be picked up and digested. Watch for heavily trafficked areas of your house such as doors, railings, and windows for chipped paint. Dusting often, keep floors and walls clean, and taking your shoes off in the house are all things you can do to help prevent any lead-based flakes or dust from being spread around your home.

The Lead Tests We Perform On The Job

If a house was built before 1978, we always perform a lead test before beginning demolition work on a job involving paint or sheetrock. We start by making sure our lead check swabs is working by making a dot on a lead sample — if it turns red as it should, that means it’s a surface with lead in it. Next we cut out a chunk of the sheetrock that we are going to be working on thick enough to see all the way through. After dousing it with the lead check swabs, it should turn red. Finally, we get it all in a picture together that we send to the adjuster.

lead

If you’re a do-it-yourself home maintenance person, you can perform the above test yourself. If you have an older home, there is no reason not be extra careful. Together, we can do our best to eradicate the threat of lead poisoning and make sure our families and homes are safe places.

 

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