Removing Lead Paint From Your Walls — Inside and Out
It’s scary to think, but by the time lead paint was completely banned in the U.S. in 1978, it was used in almost 40 million homes. So the reality is, if your home was built before then (and hasn’t had some form of renovation), it likely still contains lead paint. And this can be harmful to your health and the health of your family. When dust from the paint settles on other surfaces around your home, these particles can easily be breathed in and contain harmful chemicals.
Facts About Lead Paint
Did you know that if you do, in fact, have a home pre-1980 that is going to be renovated, U.S. federal law states you must have a copy of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (or EPA’s) lead pamphlet [http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/renovaterightbookletbwsept2011.pdf].
Because removing the lead is dangerous as well, and requires a handling these materials carefully as well as disposing of them responsibly. And if the lead paint is starting to chip, peel or crack, it is even more poisonous and dangerous.
Did you also know that the older your home is, the more likely it is to have lead paint? In fact, 87% of American homes built before 1940 contains lead paint.
Removing Lead Paint
Make sure you hire contractors who are both knowledgeable and experienced at removing lead paint. It’s important not only to safely remove and dispose of the paint, but also to bring your home up to government standards to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Potential Health Effects of Lead Paint
If inhaled, lead can get into your blood stream and have detrimental effects to your health. This can result in high blood pressure, hypertension and reproductive problems as well kidney problems in adults.
In children, this can affect their learning and behavior, slow their growth, cause hearing problems and they can develop anemia. And, though rare, in more extreme cases lead can cause seizures, or the individual to fall into a coma and/or death.
Pregnant women are also particularly at risk. Lead that has been ingested over the long-term can be stored by the body in the bones. An expecting mother releases calcium from her bones to help her fetus grow and develop bones. This can affect the baby by causing premature birth and growth defects.
To learn more about lead, its harmful effects and dealing with lead safely, visit the EPA’s website:http://www2.epa.gov/lead.