Living With Lead Paint
These days, the harmful effects of lead paint are well-known to most homeowners. In the United States, most homes that were constructed prior to 1978 contained lead paint. Prior to the advances in how paint is currently made, lead paint was preferred because it had better color retention and a better-quality finish.
For homes that were built after 1978, the risk of finding lead paint is lower because the federal government banned it from stores. However, there are still quite a few older homes that have not been updated, which contain lead paint. In an older home, it was common that all surfaces could have been painted with lead paint, but there are specific places where it might be more likely to appear. Most of the time, lead paint is found on exterior surfaces like windows and doors, interior trim, railings and staircases.
Today, testing for lead paint has become a necessary part of the home buying process. Regulations require that each home that changes ownership must be tested for lead paint prior to its purchase. The United States Environmental Protection Association dictates that any peeling, chipping, chalking or cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention. Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or ingest.
Most often, when old lead paint is present, it will crack and chip in a geometric pattern and it also could rub off with a chalky residue. Take notice of these distinct changes in your paint and be prepared to have a professional painter help remove it prior to a new interior paint project.
What exactly are the harmful effects of living with lead paint? They are specific to breathing or ingesting lead dust, or inhaling the fumes from burned materials containing lead paint. A significant amount of lead exposure can result in what is called lead poisoning.
Lead poisoning could impact all the systems of the body in a horrific way. Lead poisoning could damage the body by causing anemia, seizures, impaired muscle movement and vision problems. If the body’s nervous system is overwhelmed by lead it can even impact physical movement and cause other developmental disabilities.
There is an easy way to test to see if you are living with lead paint. If you think that lead is present in your home, you should get a lead testing kit from your local hardware store. To begin the test, you rub a special topical solution on the wall. If the solution spot turns pink, lead paint is present. This test can be limited though – if the walls were covered with new paint recently, the test won’t work. It’s highly recommended that you also check for lead on baseboards, closets and window sashes, not just the walls.
Canabe has an experienced team of professional painters who will provide you with high quality painting results. Contact us today for more information on what services we offer our customers.
For more information on the negative effects of living with lead paint, contact The Environmental Protection Agency’s National Lead Information Center at www.epa.gov/lead; 1-800-424-LEAD.