Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Unhealthy Home - Lead Based Paint

Lead Based Paint:

Lead Based Paint can pose serious health hazards to family members. It was commonly used prior to 1979, which means that most of us grew up in homes with lead based paint and never knew it. But now, years later, we're all too aware of the repercussions of having this hazard in our homes.

The highest risk falls with children. Like it or not, children do chew on trim and window sills. If the home was built prior to 1979, it is likely that lead based paint was used in the house. When children put their mouths on the painted surface, they can ingest this poison. Children are not only more likely to have contact with lead based paint and other lead sources, but their little bodies absorb lead at a higher rate than adults. And because their brains and organs are still developing, it can lead to more serious, even tragic, conditions.

Even adults who assumably do not chew on painted materials can be at risk. Paint peels. Pets scratch at doors and on walls. People bump into and scrape painted surfaces while moving around. All of these things can cause small flakes of lead based paint to fly through the air, circulating through our duct systems. We breathe it in. We touch things in our house before we pick up our food to eat, and we ingest it. It's easier than you'd think. And, adults exposed to lead have significant health risks, too. We're all exposed to lead throughout our daily lives, but overtime, continued exposure, especially from something within our own homes, will cause an increase in the lead levels in your blood.

Lead Based Paint was commonly used prior to 1979, for that reason, there are federal laws requiring specific disclosures for anyone renting or selling any home. I often hear people say "but this house has been painted since then"... that does NOT remove the lead based paint. Covering it up does not make it go away, and even buried under other coats of paint, it can still cause significant risks.

Learn more about how you can prevent lead poisoning in your home....Click here to be directed to the EPA web site which can tell you more about this serious threat.

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