If your home was constructed before 1978, the chances are high that it has lead-based paint. While the federal government banned lead paint in 1978, some states banned it even earlier. That’s because lead from paint, as well as lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning! Lead-based paint is still present in millions of houses, sometimes under layers of newer paint. If the paint is in good condition, lead-based paint is usually not a problem. Lead-based paint deterioration (chipping, chipping, spraying, cracking, damage, or moisture) is dangerous and needs immediate attention. It can also be hazardous when on surfaces that children can put in the mouth or in places that deteriorate quickly! This post gives you some information to avoid poisoning and take action if a loved one is affected by this problem.
Children Are the Most Vulnerable
Lead is deadly and can have serious health consequences for your families, especially your kids. Eating or sucking on lead paint chips or breathing airborne lead dust are common ways to lead poisoning. Some toys and children’s products also have lead paint, especially old toys. Children can also absorb four to five times more lead than adults. As if this were not enough, children tend to be more curious. Many times, they tend to put things in their mouth, which makes them more prone to poisoning.
What Harm Does Lead Cause?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lead “is a toxic substance that accumulates in the body. Affecting various body systems, with especially harmful effects on young children”. Once lead enters our body, either by ingestion or by inhalation, it is distributed throughout the body. And if it reaches the brain, liver, and kidneys. It can often cause irreparable damage. The substance also lodges in teeth and bones. Where it accumulates over time, higher lead exposure levels can lead to coma, seizures, and even death. Children who survive severe poisoning can suffer serious sequelae. Such as mental retardation or behavioral disorders. In children’s case, the chemical element attacks the brain’s development, resulting in decreased IQ and ability to concentrate and antisocial behaviors, and poor school performance. Other health consequences that lead poisoning can cause are anemia, hypertension, kidney dysfunction, immunotoxicity, and reproductive toxicity.
What Harm Does It Cause in Adults?
Lead poisoning in adults can cause a whole lot of difficulties during pregnancy. As well as reproductive problems in both women and men. In addition to high blood pressure, digestive problems, nervous disorders, problems with memory and concentration, and pain in the muscles and joints. Some WHO data to take into account:
- Exposure to lead is the cause of death for 143 thousand people each year and is estimated to cause about 600,000 new cases of intellectual disability in children each year.
- There’s no level of lead exposure that can be considered safe.
- Lead poisoning is totally preventable.
How Do We Avoid Exposure to Lead?
First of all, it is good to know what year the house you live in was built as well as in places where your young children spend a lot of time (such as daycare, grandparents’ house, or school). If construction occurred before 1978, the home most likely has lead paint. Corresponding precautions must be taken. It is important to contact your local authorities (city or county) and determine if their services include a property inspection. In this way, rule out the presence of lead in homes. Many of them offer it for free. Make sure your little ones don’t have access to lead paint peelings or surfaces that they could bite or suck on. It’s very likely that these surfaces are infected with lead.
How to Proceed if My House Was Painted with Lead Paint?
When a home built before 1978 is undergoing renovation or repair work, it is best to keep children and pregnant women out. The lead could rise to the surface in this process. Once the job is finished, cleaning the remains of dust or paint is very delicate. It should not be carried out by minors or by expectant mothers. The best solution is hiring experts like Action Hazmat Companies who’ll get rid of lead-based paint from steel structures and concrete surfaces found throughout your building.
Also, teach your kids to wash their hands regularly. Also, keep toys and other objects they use clean, as well as floors and windows. It is recommended to use a damp cloth to clean the surfaces of dust. As we know, lead is very present in dust. Avoid letting your children play on dirt, mud, or dust. If possible, plant grass where they usually play. In any case, it is preferable that when entering the house after playing outside, they remove their shoes so as not to bring lead particles with them.