The Importance of Safely Removing Lead Paint
You know that testing for asbestos while renovating in San Francisco is important to remember, but what about lead paint ? Many older homes still contain lead paint, which can contaminate your indoor air quality and cause health problems for you and your family. Take a look at this video clip on the importance of safely removing lead paint.
When you start thinking about a bathroom or kitchen remodel, the many benefits will probably occupy your mind. You should also consider the dangers, however, especially if you have children in the house. Ingesting or breathing in lead can be harmful for anyone, but it’s particularly dangerous for younger children. Exposure to lead paint can lead to learning disabilities, brain damage, and problems with the nervous system. Make sure your contractor is certified, and ask the right questions so you can get your lead paint removed as safely and effectively as possible.
Where Lead Could Be Lurking in Your Home
Lead is a substance that can pose a threat to your family’s health by affecting your home’s indoor air quality. For this reason, it’s important to test your home for this substance if there is any chance that it may be present, particularly before beginning projects like kitchen remodels or home renovations. When you have your home tested for the presence of lead and level of its air quality in San Francisco , there are certain locations where the inspection team might check for lead.
Homes that were built before 1978 may have lead-based paint. When you sand, tear down, or remodel walls that are covered in paint that is contaminated with lead, this can release harmful amounts of lead into the air that can cause a broad range of health issues in anyone exposed to them. Some older homes may also have plumbing that contains lead, which means that they can contaminate drinking water. If there is a chance that your home is contaminated with lead, then consider scheduling an air quality test right away.
Understanding the Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
If you’re concerned that your home may have lead paint in San Francisco, it’s vital that you schedule professional lead paint testing to ensure the health of you and your family. Lead based paint is commonly found in older buildings and is the most common cause of lead poisoning in children. Small amounts of lead buildup in the body can lead to serious health problems, and higher levels can be fatal.
Sources of Lead Poisoning Symptoms
It can take months of exposure before symptoms of lead poisoning manifest, making it difficult to detect. A person with high amounts of lead in their blood can appear healthy, and may not seem sick until their body has accumulated dangerous amounts of lead. Adults can suffer from lead poisoning, but children under the age of six are particularly vulnerable. While lead paint is the most common source of lead poisoning for children, adults who work with batteries or in construction can be exposed to hazardous levels of this toxin.
Lead Poisoning Symptoms in Children
Young children have a higher risk for lead poisoning because they frequently put their hands and objects in their mouths, and sometimes swallow non-edible items. At this age, children’s brains are developing rapidly, and their bodies absorb lead quickly. Symptoms of lead poisoning in children can include vomiting, weight loss, irritability, fatigue, abdominal pain, and constipation. Children affected by lead poisoning are also susceptible to hearing loss, learning problems, and developmental delay. Infants exposed to high amounts of lead can suffer slowed growth and learning disabilities.
Lead Poisoning Symptoms in Adults
Adults who have accumulated dangerous amounts of lead in their bloodstream can experience headaches, joint pain, abdominal pain, constipation, and muscle pain. Long-term and more severe symptoms include high blood pressure, hindered mental function, mood disorders, memory loss, and reduced sperm count or abnormal sperm. Exposure to lead can also cause premature birth or miscarriage in pregnant women.
Why is Lead Exposure Dangerous?
Exposure to lead or lead paint in San Francisco can cause dangerous symptoms of lead toxicity, particularly in young children. Lead-based paint can deteriorate over time and become airborne, significantly decreasing your home’s indoor air quality. When you inhale lead paint particles, you are at risk for lead toxicity or lead poisoning symptoms.
Watch this video to learn more about the dangers of exposure to lead and lead-based paint. If you suspect that your home contains lead pipes or lead paint, you should hire an expert for lead testing and lead abatement. Lead poisoning symptoms in children may include developmental delays, learning difficulties, weight loss, hearing loss, sluggishness, irritability, abdominal pain, vomiting, and constipation. Lead poisoning symptoms in adults include high blood pressure, cognitive problems, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, memory loss, mood disorders, abdominal pain, constipation, and reproductive problems.
Looking Back at the History of Lead
Although lead has been remarkably important in the rise of modern civilization and society, it’s also an insidiously toxic metal that has caused untold sickness and death as long as it’s been used. The dangers of lead poisoning are well documented today, but concerns with lead-based paint and other lead-containing products continue to drive businesses and homeowners to perform lead testing and seek lead abatement services in San Francisco. But how lead come to pose such a risk to modern society? Consider this brief history of lead to find out.
Early Romans and the Dangers of Lead
Lead played a major role in the building of the great Roman Empire, including the vast network of piping that kept Rom and the provincial cities of the Empire supplied with water. However, lead also played a role in the downfall of Rome. The Romans were aware that lead could cause serious health problems, and yet they equated limited exposure with limited risk. What they didn’t realize, as the world would discover in the 20 th century, is that everyday low-level exposure to the metal rendered them vulnerable to chronic lead poisoning.
The U.S. Leads the World in Lead Consumption
Fast forward a few thousand years and the U.S. emerges as the world’s leading producer and consumer of refined lead. According to reports, by 1980 the United States was consuming approximately 1.3 million tons of lead per year, which represented roughly 40 percent of the world’s supply. Refined lead was used heavily in the automotive industry, and also as a paint additive. That’s why many homes and buildings that date back before 1980 are at a high risk of containing lead-based paint and other lead-containing materials.
Lead Protection Measures
As the science and medical communities made the public more aware of the dangers of lead exposure, the U.S. government finally took action to protect its citizens. In 1977, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissions banned lead paint in residential properties and public buildings, along with toys and furniture containing lead paint. Homes or buildings built before the ban took effect should be tested for lead-based paint by an environmental safety testing company in San Francisco.
Spotlight on Environmental Cleanup Testing
If an environmental test reveals that your home or business contains asbestos, lead, or mold, you will need to hire licensed abatement or remediation professionals to remove the threat. But after the cleanup service is complete, it’s important to get one more round of environmental testing to ensure that the remediation or abatement contractor was successful and that the threat was completely eliminated from your home or business. If post-cleanup asbestos testing , mold testing, or lead testing reveals that the contractor was unsuccessful, you will have more leverage in requesting that the contractor come back and retreat the affected area.
In San Francisco, Safe Air Fast is the environmental testing company you can count on for post-cleanup clearance testing. Safe Air Fast provides asbestos, lead, and mold testing services for homeowners and businesses throughout the Bay Area. Call (916) 459-1069 to schedule environmental testing with Safe Air Fast of San Francisco today.
Removing Lead-Based Paint
If you live in older home, it’s important that you make sure there are no traces of lead-based paint that can cause anyone in your family to become sick from lead poisoning. A full lead-based paint survey will identify remnants of lead-based paint in your home. After you receive confirmation of lead paint in your home , you will need to take steps to remove the paint in order to limit exposure. Although lead-paint removal is best left to a professional remediator, there are things you can to do eliminate the threat in your own home.
Watch this video to learn about the proper way to dispose of lead paint. You’ll learn about the personal safety equipment you should wear when removing lead-based paint, and how to safely dispose of lead paint after it’s been removed from your home. You’ll also learn about other steps you can take after discovering lead paint in your home, such as painting over with a specially-formulated encapsulation paint.
Understanding Lead Toxicity and Poisoning
Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust are the most common sources of lead poisoning in children and adults, despite the fact that such paints have been banned for residential use since 1978. If you live in an older residence, it’s recommended that you schedule a lead inspection in San Francisco to determine whether this toxic heavy metal is present inside your home. However, lead-based paint isn’t the only source of lead poisoning. To protect yourself and your family, read this short blog to learn more about lead toxicity and to recognize the signs of lead poisoning.
Signs and Symptoms of Lead Poisoning
Initially, and at small doses, lead poisoning can be hard to detect, especially in health children and adults. Because the most recognizable signs of lead poisoning usually don’t appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated inside the body, seek medical attention if you recognize the following chronic symptoms in yourself or your family:
- Abdominal pain
- Mood disorders
- Muscle pain
- Memory loss
- Hearing loss
- Sluggishness and fatigue
Lead Poisoning Risk Factors
Although lead is harmful to all humans at high enough doses and over long enough periods of time, there are certain factors that can increase one’s risk of becoming lead poisoned. Infants and young children, for example, are more likely to be exposed to lead than adults and absorb the heavy metal more easily. People who live in homes or apartment buildings that were built before 1980 are also at risk of prolonged exposure to lead through the remnants of lead-based paints.
Lead Poisoning Prevention
Children and adults are most frequently exposed to dangerous levels of lead inside older homes, which is why you should schedule a lead-based paint inspection with an environmental testing company in San Francisco before doing any remodeling or touch-up work in an older house that may contain lead paint. If your home has older plumbing containing lead pipes or fitting, run the cold water for at least one minute before using and avoid using the hot water tap to make baby formula or for cooking.
A Look at the History of Lead Paint
The use of lead paint in San Francisco began during Colonial times, and peaked in 1922. At the time, there was little knowledge of the danger of lead exposure and lead poisoning symptoms. Because lead paint was durable and washable, the interiors of many buildings and homes contained lead paint. By 1951, lead testing revealed the dangers of prolonged exposure to lead paint.
The first city to ban the use of lead paint was Baltimore, in 1951. By 1955, public health officials developed a national standard that allowed manufacturers to voluntarily limit their usage of lead in their interior paint. This caused a significant decline in the manufacture and use of interior and exterior lead paint throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1971, the government passed the Federal Lead Poisoning Prevention Act. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that lead surveys and lead paint testing confirmed that lead poisoning symptoms could be caused by exposure to household dust. In 1978, the federal government banned the consumer use of lead paint. Homes and buildings constructed prior to 1978 should undergo thorough lead surveys and lead paint testing to ensure that they are safe.
What to Expect from Your Lead Survey
If your home was built before 1978 and you have children living there, you should take the time to have a lead survey done. Lead can be very harmful to kids and, unfortunately, it is incredibly easy for them to ingest it if it is present anywhere in your home. The good news is that it’s easy to conduct a lead test in San Francisco to see if you need to have lead paint or other sources of lead removed. Here is what you can expect from a lead survey.
Testing Inside Your Home
When you hire a company to come in and do a lead survey for you, they will test every single part of the home that may have lead paint. They will conduct a lead test on window frames, baseboards, kitchen cabinets, painted children’s furniture, trim, and any other items that have been painted. It’s important to have a comprehensive lead test done to ensure that all areas are tested for lead paint.
Testing Outside Your Home
While most people think that lead paint is the only place where lead can be found in a home, it can also be found outdoors. You may have lead-contaminated soil right outside of your home. Therefore, a lead test will be conducted on the soil as well as on any chipped or peeling paint on your home’s exterior.
Evaluating Your Results
Are the lead levels in your home too high? The company that does your lead survey will be able to get a reading for the lead levels inside and outside your home and compare them with the acceptable levels determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Housing & Urban Development. If they are above those levels, they are considered hazardous .
If a lead paint test shows that you have high levels of lead in your home, you will need to take the necessary steps to reduce them. You should work with a licensed lead contractor to take care of the problem.
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