A lead inspection is vital
Adding lead to paint is a mixture that can give the paint a more durable and preserved sheen, that will last for many years without the need for retouches. However, in 1978 the use of lead paint was prohibited in the United States as evidence shows that this exposure to lead in your home can cause severe and irreversible damage to your health.
Since then, lead paint inspections have been growing in popularity with many people advocating for a safer home environment. Lead paint testing is particularly necessary in homes that have been built before the prohibition, even though many homes built after that can still contain lead paint that was illegally used.
Why do you need a Lead Inspection?
– New Regulations in New York
– Increased risk for children
– Increased risk for pets
– Home renovation
1. Lead paint exposure is the most common cause of lead poisoning
Lead poisoning can cause permanent neurological damage, affect motor skills, cause hypertension and in some cases might result in death. However, many people don’t take this risk seriously because the popular belief is that as long as you don’t ingest lead, you can’t get lead poisoning.
But according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, most cases of lead poisoning are a consequence of living in a house coated with lead-based paint. As soon as the paint starts to peel and flake in some areas, a toxic dust is released into the air of the house, just the inhalation of this dust can already cause severe lead build up in the body.
This dust is completely odorless and invisible, so you might be inhaling it constantly without knowing. The usual conclusion is that if you do not see any chipped areas of the paint, you are not in any risk since the lead paint is not harmful by itself.
But it is important to know that one piece of chipped paint in the house can result in a significant amount of lead being released in the environment of your home, so many people recommend taking preventive measures to protect your house from this issue before it arises, by taking a lead paint test earlier on.
Lead paint has a particular pattern of flaking, once it gets to this stage the paint is releasing toxic dust that is extremely poisonous.
2. Increased risk of lead for children
Lead paint is particularly toxic if there are any children or pets living in the house. This is because in the developmental phase, a child can absorb much more elements in their surroundings than an adult would, the symptoms for built up lead in their organisms is also more severe.
Unfortunately, lead poisoning is considerably common for children in the United States thanks to lead paint exposure. In 2014, a researched estimated that 1 in 40 children contained an amount of lead in their blood that was concerning, which is above 5 μg/dL. Even though doctors affirm that there is no level of lead that is considered safe, meaning that children that are affected negatively by lead exposure are even more than 1 in 40.
The symptoms of this exposure for children can result in inability to pay attention, behavioral problems, headaches, insomnia, among many others. The damaged caused by heavy metal in the body is also permanent, it is possible to remove this element through a chelation therapy, but the harm that is already done cannot be cured.
If you have children living or frequently visiting your home, it is crucial to do lead paint testing in all rooms of the house, in order to be better informed about the potential risks this child can have in the environment. This way you can also keep an eye on the child to identify possible and earlier symptoms of metal poisoning.
3. Increased risk of lead for pets
The effect of lead exposure on pets has also been well documented over the years, and veterinarians consider it to be the most dangerous substance for domestic animals. In this case the lead poisoning can occur from the animal eating paint chips, which is not completely uncommon since lead is known to have a sweet and agreeable taste.
The symptoms of this exposure on dogs and cats can include digestive problems, abdominal pain, unsteady walking, seizures, blindness among others. This is particularly concerning since the signs of low-level lead poisoning can be hard to notice in pets, as they can have many other explanations.
For this reason, it is important to test your house and be aware of the risk, that way you can ask for a blood lead level exam on your pet if you notice any symptoms, and the right treatment can be decided more quickly.
4. Houses with lead paint are common
As stated before, lead-based paint was very commonly used in homes before the 1978 prohibition, as adding lead to paint would preserve it for many more years than it would normally last. However, most people don’t know that houses and buildings before that year also face a risk of containing lead paint.
This is because painters loved using this type of paint, and once they knew it was going be banned, many of them kept a stock of the product to use after the prohibition. This paint was banned from production in 1978, but painters using it when they had it in stock was a grey area that lasted for years.
Lead-based paint can be found in houses built as late as the 1990s, so it is recommended that homeowners test their house for lead even if the house is newer. Beyond that, as stated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, 87% of houses built before 1940 contain lead-based paint.
5. Safe home renovations with a lead inspection
As a general rule, lead paint does not become a problem until it is chipped or otherwise disturbed. If you are planning on scraping or removing the surface of your wall for any purpose – a house renovation, for example – it is crucial to conduct a lead test beforehand.
If lead is found in your walls, you will need to hire certified professionals to handle the issue. Lead is an extremely toxic element that will release vast amounts of poisonous dust when disturbed, if this is done by someone who is not wearing appropriate gear, it could cause irreversible health issues, which is why you need to know of its existence before reforming anything in your house.
Professionals remove lead paint with appropriate gear to protect them from toxic fumes.
Don’t take chances with lead paint
Lead paint is an extremely dangerous substance that is present in the house of many Americans nowadays, and exposure to this element can cause several irreversible damages to your and your family’s health. Even if the paint is in good condition, it is always important to recognize the presence of lead in your home, to become more aware of the danger in the environment.
At MKM Environmental, we perform XRF Lead Inspections on all types of properties and issue reports and certs as required.
As an EPA Certified Lead Paint Inspector, we can ensure your property is complies with the law and is safe for you and your family.
Our service is as non-intrusive as possible and includes checking all places lead may be present in your property.