Content of the material
- Lead Paint Hazards
- Is Lead Poisoning Only a Problem for Small Children?
- How Can I Tell If I Have Lead Paint in My House?
- What if You Plan to Purchase an Old Home that May Have Lead Paint?
- How to tell if your home has lead paint
- Where do you take your results for How To Tell Lead Paint searching?
- What Are the Health Risks of Lead Paint?
- Which test is right for your substrate?
- How To Tell Lead Paint Details
- Do you think you may have lead paint in your home?
Lead Paint Hazards
Lead was used in many different products, most notably gasoline until it was revealed through extensive testing that it had a detrimental effect on the brain.
This is especially true of children whose development was severely curtailed due to lead exposure.
The consequences of lead exposure are such that they cannot be fully treated even today.
Although short-term exposure to a minimal amount of lead is generally nothing to worry about.
Long-term exposure may have dire consequences for you and your family.
While many such homes have had the lead paint removed, it may still be present underneath more recent coatings of non-lead-based paints.
What this means is if you are moving into an older home, a home old enough to have used lead-based paints, then you should have it tested.
Is Lead Poisoning Only a Problem for Small Children?
Anyone can be dangerously affected by exposure to lead. But children under age 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, for several reasons.
Young children have a tendency to put things that can have lead dust on them into their mouths. And the younger they are, the greater the chance a child may put chips of peeling paint, lead dust, or lead-contaminated soil in their mouth. Consequently, young children are much more likely to consume large amounts of lead than older kids or adults, whose main risk comes from breathing lead dust.
Children’s growing bodies also absorb more lead than adult bodies do, and a young child’s brain and nervous system are more sensitive to the damage lead can cause. But lead can and does affect adults, especially after long-term exposure.
How Can I Tell If I Have Lead Paint in My House?
Not all houses built before 1978 have lead-based paint, but the older your house is, the greater the likelihood is that it contains lead paint somewhere inside or out.
Yet, even if it does, if the paint is in good condition — there’s no chipping or peeling and no sign that the surface has been broken — the paint is not a health hazard. But if you’re planning a renovation, you’ll want to know if your paint contains lead so you can take precautions to avoid exposure.
What if You Plan to Purchase an Old Home that May Have Lead Paint?
It’s not at all safe for you and your family to live in a house with lead paint.
It’s therefore, important that if you are considering the purchase of an older home to have it tested for lead paint first.
You may insist upon this before writing up the contract which puts the onus on the seller and not you.
It is far better to be safe than sorry when it concerns the presence of lead paint.
In all likelihood, the inspector or assessor who tests for the lead paint can recommend a professional to neutralize or remove it completely.
Be sure to read their written report first and follow their recommendations.
However, it may not be possible or feasible to have the lead-based paint removed.
In such cases, you will have a set of maintenance instructions to keep the paint sealed which will protect you and your family from lead exposure.
How to tell if your home has lead paint
Lead paint is an immediate issue if your paint is peeling, cracking, flaking or deteriorating
If your house was built before 1978, you may have lead paint. The mere presence of lead paint is not always a problem. If your paint is in good condition it is usually not harmful, but deteriorating lead-based paint is hazardous; if your paint begins peeling, chipping, cracking, or chalking, it needs immediate attention. Lead is a risk where paint becomes dust, which can be from deterioration but also from areas where there is a lot of wear and tear. Areas such a doors and door frames, windows and window sills, stairs, railings and other high traffic zones need special attention. You cannot tell from color either; lead paint did not come in one single color, though the most common pigments that contained lead were yellow, red, and white.
Where do you take your results for How To Tell Lead Paint searching?
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What Are the Health Risks of Lead Paint?
There’s a good reason that lead-based paint was banned in the United States. Lead is a toxic metal, and if you have it in your home, it’s important to take steps to ensure you limit the health risks to you and your family.
Children are at increased risk for lead poisoning, through ingestion from several sources. They have a tendency to chew on lead-painted surfaces. These may include door edges, window sills, built-in shelving, and even some toys. Lead paint chips and dust can coat their sticky fingers as they play on the ground and subsequently put those fingers in their mouths. Both children and adults are most at risk when lead paint peels, cracks, chips, or deteriorates over time and produces lead dust.
When lead dust particles are inhaled, they can lead to serious and sometimes fatal health problems. Symptoms include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Developmental problems in children
- Nausea and abdominal pain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Memory and focus problems
- Mood disorders
- Fertility problems in both men and women
Which test is right for your substrate?
The chemicals used to detect lead are rhodizonate- or sulfide-based, and you need to choose which test you use carefully. Rhodizonate-based kits turn pink in the presence of lead, so avoid using them on red or pink paint, while the sulfide-based kits are better used on lighter paint colors. According to the EPA:
- 3M LeadCheck can reliably determine that lead-based paint is not present on wood, ferrous metal (alloys that contain iron), or drywall and plaster surfaces.
- D-Lead can reliably determine that lead-based paint is not present on wood, ferrous metal, drywall and plaster.
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts lead test kit is approved for drywall and plaster, not wood and ferrous material.
How To Tell Lead Paint Details
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Do you think you may have lead paint in your home?
If your home is one of the millions in the United States with surfaces coated in lead paint, it’s important that you’re able to identify it to protect your family’s health and safety should the paint begin to deteriorate, or should you decide to remodel your home. While there are some telltale signs that your paint may contain lead, the safest and surest way to identify it is by having a sample of your paint professionally tested.
JSE Labs provides reliable, quick results and can test your sample not just for lead, but also for asbestos and other toxic contaminants. Contact us with any questions, and collect and mail in your sample to one of our Portland-area locations.