Contact Us

Contact Us

Blog page

Lead-Based Paint Abatement

Published: Monday, December 02, 2019

Back in the “good old days” of the early-mid 1900’s, there was a product being used by nearly everyone in the industrialized United States. That product was lead-based paint. Contrary to modern-day paint, lead-based paint contained enough lead that it actually led to millions of Americans being easily exposed to, and poisoned by it. Millions of children and adults experienced brain and lung conditions, some of which even proving to be fatal. In fact, over 400,000 Americans are thought to die each year from lead-based paint complications, even to this day!

With new laws being passed in 1978, the American government thought they would be resolving the issue right there and then. Prior to 1978, there was lead-based paint ranging from 66% of homes, up to even 86% of homes at some points in our Country’s history. By banning all lead-based paints from the market, it did slow the growth of new cases. However, it did not prevent people from still getting sick, because of the old lead-paints in their homes. Even now, there is an estimated 35% of all American homes that still have lead-based paint inside or outside.

So you may be asking yourself, “why is lead-based paint so bad? How is it even harmful?” Well, depending on who is being exposed, and how much that person is exposed, the symptoms can vary greatly. For instance, a child’s immune system absorbs up to 45% of the lead, while adults only absorb about 5% of the lead. This makes it significantly more dangerous for children who are exposed to lead. This can lead to many problems, including a reduction of IQ (Intelligence Quotient), lead poisoning, learning disabilities, and even death. In addition to these risks, it can also affect Pregnant women and can cause damage to the fetus during said pregnancy. For Adults, the exposure can still cause issues like erectile dysfunction, low fatigue, lung problems, or even death if exposed to enough lead. When an adult ingests too much lead, it can cause acute encephalopathy, which is a brain condition that leads to severe seizures, comas, and eventually death by cardiorespiratory arrest, also known as a heart attack.

While death is certainly scary and the most concerning outcome of lead poisoning, there are still other scary occurrences that can occur. For instance, if someone does ingest lead, their body can only process small amounts, and very slowly at that. However, if enough is ingested, lead will stay in your system for a very long time. In fact, the average half-life of lead on human skin is about 45 days. Inside the body though, these traces of lead can be found for a very long time, if not forever. On average, it takes about 10 years for lead to reach its half-life when inside the body, hiding away in the skeletal system.

So, how do you ensure that you don’t expose yourself to the dangers of lead? Simple, hire a professional to abate the lead for you. By hiring a professional, you will ensure they are trained and knowledgeable about the process of properly containing lead-dust during removal. It’s absolutely crucial that you don’t do this on your own, as you will almost certainly be putting yourself, and any family or friends that go to/live in your home, in imminent danger. With that being said, it’s extremely difficult to contain all the lead dust during removal, unless you have the proper equipment and containment on site. For this reason, it’s a federal and state requirement for you to hire a professional for the abatement of your lead-based paint.

If you or someone you know might have lead in the home, it’s very important to do some research on the home, use some test swabs, and determine for certain whether you have lead in the home or not. If the home does contain lead, call your local lead-based paint abatement specialist right away to set an appointment. Once they are able to determine a solid plan for removal, get it done as soon as possible, and re-paint the home with modern, non-toxic paint. If you have any questions about lead-based paint or abatement, give us a call today. (503)-284-5348