You've likely heard about lead poisoning a lot in recent weeks as a result of the Flint water crisis. In case you haven't heard about it, the water in Flint, Michigan, was contaminated with high levels of lead when the municipality switched their water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. This issue has resulted in an increased focus on lead exposure in general, and many communities are speaking up about their own issues with lead poisoning.
Want to learn more about lead poisoning, and how to know if your home is a source of lead exposure? We're happy to share our expertise with you.
Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, usually over a period of time. Even very small levels of lead can lead to very serious and lasting health problems. Children under the age of 6 are most vulnerable to lead poisoning, and it can have serious effects on their mental and physical development. High levels of lead poisoning can even be fatal.
The most common causes of lead poisoning in children are lead-based paint and lead contaminated dust found in older buildings. Lead paint becomes a problem when it's located somewhere children can put in their mouths (such as on cribs, windowsills, or railings), when the paint begins to chip off, or when people start a renovation project and disturb the layers of paint.
Other sources of concern include contaminated water, soil, and air. Adults working with batteries, doing home renovations, or working in auto repair shops are also more likely to be exposed to lead.
Babies exposed to lead prenatally typically suffer from slower growth rates as well as learning difficulties as they get older. Infants and young children absorb lead more easily than adults. The greatest risk of lead poisoning to young children is altered brain development, and unfortunately the damage is often irreversible. Exposure to lead paint, or other sources of lead in the environment, needs to be taken very seriously.
There are some general guidelines you can follow to determine how likely your home is to contain lead paint. If your home was built before 1960 then it's very likely to have a layer of lead paint on the interior walls- it would be a good idea to get your home tested for lead paint. If your house was built between 1960 and 1990, then it's less likely your interior walls will have lead paint, but there's a good chance that your exterior paint is lead-based. If your home was built after 1990 then lead-based paints isn't a concern since all consumer paints produced in Canada and the US were virtually lead free after 1990.
If your house was built before 1990 and you would like to get your home tested for lead paint, it's a simple procedure. A company specializing in the safe removal of lead paint, such as Green Demo, can come to your home and take some samples of paint from around your house. These samples are then sent to a lab where they're tested for lead content, and you can get the results within three days.
Green Demo is happy to provide you with a free quote and discuss options for safely removing lead paint hazards from your home.