Lead paint or lead-based painted paint is paint made from lead, a toxic metal. As paint, lead (II), lead (IV), oxide, and lead (III) chloride are the main types. Lead is added to paints to increase durability, add color, increase resistance to weathering, retain a fresh look, and resist water that causes corrosion. When lead gets into our homes, our bodies absorb it and put in our blood streams.
Lead paint chips are not the only things showing up on our painted surfaces. Excessive dust and cobwebs are one of the major causes of deterioration to our homes. Window sills, floor finish and roofing materials, including wood and vinyl, contain lead paint chips and dust. Even when spending time in the yard it can be a hazard, as it is very difficult to keep lead paint chips and dust out of our homes. That is why they must be removed by professionals.
Everyone can be exposed to lead paint dust or chips if they spend time around old building materials. Contractors and renovators are more likely to expose their workers to high levels of lead dust and chips because they often use large drum drums or other containers filled with dust for moving and/or scraping debris. While some companies try to minimize exposure by using personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, respirators, masks, etc., others don’t. They simply accept the possibility that workers will be exposed to lead paint dust and leave it at that.
The EPA states that paint contains lead paint chips that may be hazardous if inhaled. The effects of long-term exposure to even low levels of lead paint dust could cause learning disabilities and brain damage. Researchers have shown that children of pregnant women may experience developmental problems. While there is still much research to be done, it is obvious that avoiding lead paint dust and cleaning your home with lead-free products is the best way to protect your family. If you have any concerns about how a job handled by contractors may affect your family, call a professional before doing anything.
Contractors who do renovation work are required to follow state and federal guidelines for lead paint abatement. Before starting any project, these guidelines are carefully checked to make sure that there won’t be any harm to anyone during the renovation process. Once the project is started, workers are tested daily for exposure to lead paint. If there are high levels of lead paint dust present, then abatement is immediately necessary.
Unfortunately, lead paint and lead dust and the dangerous effects that it has on your health and your family’s health can only be prevented if a contractor abatement contractor is hired to do the job. If you are worried about the safety of your family while doing a renovation, call a lead paint and lead dust abatement contractor today. They will do an immediate inspection of the area being worked on and they will take precautions to either eliminate or control any possible lead hazards. These contractors also use protective gear, including lead filters on their respirators and gloves. They can also provide you with educational materials that can help you understand the hazards of lead paint and lead dust.
For more information on how a professional can help you protect your family from lead poisoning, go to your local Health Department website. They provide a comprehensive list of resources for parents and caretakers to avoid lead poisoning. Their website offers much more information on preventing lead poisoning as well as ways to address it once it happens. In addition to offering brochures and videos on lead paint dangers, they offer a free low-cost health screening that can help identify the first signs of lead poisoning and lead deficiency.
Many Maine apartment and condo owners neglect to make sure their complex’s lead paint and lead dust is cleaned up. It takes just a few seconds of negligence on their part to prevent a huge problem. The best way to know if your complex is contaminated with lead paint and lead dust is to have a yearly clean-up done by a pro. Make sure your tenants regularly sweep and mop their work areas, especially those in the garage. Your tenants will be doing this anyway – they probably don’t know they are at risk.