What are the Sources and Risks of Lead Poisoning

Posted on February 13, 2015 in Blog

What are the Sources and Risks of Lead PoisoningLead was used in thousands of products in the US before the 1970s, when numerous scientific studies found that it was extremely toxic. Though most cases of lead poisoning are the result of ingesting lead paint chips and dust, there are numerous other potential sources of lead.

Environmental Sources

The soil, water, and air in your home could contain lead, especially if your home was built before the 1970s. Renovating an older home could be especially risky in terms of lead exposure. It’s important to have your home tested for lead to avoid potential health problems.

Imported Items

Though the US banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978, less developed countries often don’t have strict regulations regarding lead. Inexpensive children’s jewelry and toys may contain lead and other harmful substances, so it’s important that children never put these items in their mouths.

Workplace and hobbies

If you work in construction, car or radiator repair, plumbing, welding, electronics, or with scrap metal, it’s important that you wash your hands and change your clothes before interacting with children, who could touch you and then inhale the lead fibers found on your clothes, skin, hair, or shoes.

Those are the main sources of lead contamination in the US. Feel free to contact H2 Environmental if you think your home might have lead in it to ensure it’s properly identified and safely removed.

What are the health risks as a result of lead contamination?

Lead contamination is very serious, because even low levels of lead can cause damage over time, especially to children. Irreversible brain damage may happen as a result of lead exposure. The kidneys and nervous system can also be adversely affected when higher levels of lead exposure occur.

What can I do to prevent lead exposure?

In your home, there are many ways to protect yourself and your loved ones against lead poisoning. First and foremost, if you move into a home that was built before the 1970s, call H2 Environmental at (800) 524-3578 for a thorough, inexpensive evaluation. You don’t want to unwittingly expose your family to lead, and it’s impossible to detect with the naked eye.

Other practical steps to avoid lead exposure

  • Wash hands and toys regularly. Hands should always be washed after playing outside and before eating to prevent lead ingestion.
  • Clean often. Don’t let dust build up on your furniture and floors, which might have lead particles that little ones could pick up and ingest.
  • Run cold water through your pipes for at least a minute if you have older plumbing that may contain lead.
  • Don’t let children play in the soil, which may have lead in it. Instead, direct them to a sandbox, playground, or other more protected area.
  • Eat right. Experts have found that when people practice good nutrition, they absorb lead at a lower rate than their less healthy counterparts.
  • Be careful when doing home improvement projects to avoid lead exposure.

Do you have any questions about lead poisoning and how to prevent it? We’d be happy to answer them and schedule your home’s lead evaluation—simply call (800) 524-3578 to set up an appointment.