Everyday families are renting or buying homes and most don’t realize the dangers of lead-based paint on you and your families’ health. The Department of Housing Urban Development has inspected 38 million homes that contain lead-based paint. If your home was built before 1978, it is extremely important to follow some procedures. Lead-based paint has a major impact on children and the sad part is, there may be no symptoms, but slowly your child’s health is deteriorating. When lead is absorbed into the body, damage to the brain and other vital organs may cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and even death. What people don’t understand is both the inside and outside of the house is deteriorated with lead-paint. If your home was built before 1978, there are several procedures that should be followed.
Dangers of Lead-Based Paint on Your Children:
- May become lead poisoned by putting their hands or other lead-contaminated objects into their mouths. They could eat the paint chips found in the homes or by playing with lead-contaminated soil.
- Children should get their blood lead level tested if they live or regularly visit a house built before 1978 with on-going or recent renovations or remodeling.
- If they have a sibling or playmate that has or did have lead poisoning, they could be contaminated.
Dangers of Lead-Based Paint Inside the House:
- Everything in the room must be removed (furniture, rugs, carpets, floors, bedding, drapes dishware, food, and toys) while cleaning the paint.
- Furniture such as chairs and tables that were built and painted prior to 1978 should be tested.
- Reduce exposure to lead paint by covering windowsills with vinyl or aluminum.
- By wiping down flat surfaces, such as windowsills, you are able to collect paint chips before children touch them.
Dangers of Lead-Based Paint Outside the House:
- If children are playing outside they may come in contact with paint chips that have fallen into the soil around the house or yard. Taking your shoes off before entering your home is also important.
- Exterior work should be done on calm days and wet misting or vacuuming should be used to control lead dust.
- Be sure to cover all sandboxes, swing sets, play areas, and gardens when working on the outside of the house.
Testing for lead hazards by a lead professional is the best way to be effective and create a safer environment for you and your family. Lead-based paint is more common than you may think and being educated on the history of your home is crucial, especially if your house was built before 1978. The main concern is recognizing the health effects your children could have if they are under the age of six. Learn about the history of your house; proceed with caution, and hire a lead professional to stay away from lead-based paint.