The dangers of lead paint have been widely publicized, but how do you know if your family is in danger? The existence of lead paint in a home or building does not pose an immediate danger except under certain conditions. Before you panic, know the facts and learn how to mitigate the dangers of lead paint in your home.
Lead paint exposure
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 300,000 children in the United States have high concentrations of lead in their blood. The effects of high concentrations of lead can be severe. Lead poisoning disrupts most of the major systems in the body, including the brain, central nervous system, kidneys, and blood cells. Prolonged exposure can cause convulsions, coma, and in severe cases, death.
Most commonly, lead affects unborn and developing children. It can delay physical and mental development and result in lower IQ, shorter attention spans and increased behavioral problems. The younger the child is, the more he is at risk. In addition to greater vulnerability to developing tissue damage, children under the age of six are far more likely to chew on things that may have lead paint, like toys or crib bars, and less likely to wash their hands after touching something coated with dust that contains lead.
Adults can also suffer from exposure to lead paint. Lead poisoning in adults manifests a wide range of symptoms including high blood pressure, low sperm count, joint and muscle pain, memory loss, and digestive issues. These symptoms are easily mistaken for other ailments.
Where lead is found?
Lead is found in a number of products and in soil and water, but the most common source of contamination is paint. Lead was banned from use in paint in the United States in 1978, but we continue to import from countries that do not have similar laws. The greatest threat of dangerous exposure to lead comes from the renovation of homes built prior to 1978. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), millions of residential properties still have lead paint. It breaks down to 24% of homes built between 1960 and 1978, 69% of homes built between 1940 and 1960, and 87% of homes built prior to 1940.
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(article courtesy of BuildDirect Blog)