Is it okay if my house has lead-based paint?
Do you think your house has lead-based paint? If it was built before the 1970s or 1980s, it’s pretty likely that it does, if you haven’t had it removed already. You may be wondering, is that a big deal?
Many people think that since lead-based paint was used in virtually all residential and commercial buildings before it was banned by the government in the 1970s, it’s alright. There haven’t been many widely-publicized studies that outlined the harmful effects of lead exposure.
However, lead is a highly toxic metal that’s a strong poison. Lead poisoning is a serious health condition that can sometimes even be fatal. Lead exposure is a big deal. Avoiding lead exposure is extremely important, particular for children, the elderly, and those who are immunocompromised. Lead poisoning can cause serious ill effects including:
- Severe mental and physical impairment
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Aggressive behavior
- Sleep problems
- Loss of developmental skills in children
- Loss of appetite
- High blood pressure
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Memory loss
- Kidney dysfunction
- Behavior problems
- Low IQ
- Poor grades at school
- Problems with hearing
- Short- and long-term learning difficulties
- Growth delays
- Muscle weakness
- Stumbling when walking
- Encephalopathy (confusion, coma, and seizures)
- Lead is more harmful to children than adults because their brains and nervous systems are young and still developing. Lead poisoning is treatable, but any damage already caused by elevated lead levels cannot be cured.
How does lead poisoning happen?
You may be thinking, perhaps there’s a way to make sure my kids don’t get lead poisoning without removing the lead-based paint from my home. Children place lead-containing objects in their mouths, ingesting the lead, which builds up in their bodies. Lead-based paint dust can also flake off walls and be breathed in.
Where can lead be found?
Many homes throughout the US contain lead-based paint, art supplies, and old toys. Souvenirs from foreign countries often contain lead as well. Sometimes older homes contain pipes that can contaminate drinking water. Even soil sometimes contains lead, if it’s been contaminated by car exhaust or chipping house paint. Jewelry, pottery, and statues sometimes contain lead.
What should I do if I suspect my home contains lead?
If you’re wondering whether your home contains lead, it’s important that you have it tested right away, especially if you have young children living at home. Even small amounts of lead exposure should be avoided whenever possible.
Call the lead detection and removal experts at H2 Environmental Consulting Services. We’ll be happy to set up an appointment at your earliest convenience to test the air, water, soil, and physical structure of your home. Our goal is to make Southern California the safest place to be, one property at a time, so give us a call at (800) 524-3578 to make sure your home is lead-free today.