This week is Lead Poisoning Prevention week, now you may be wondering why we, a company that cares for your property after a pipe bursts, would take the time to write a post about Lead Poisoning. Though many may know this fact, I am sure there are plenty who do not. The use of lead-based paint in residential properties was banned in the late 1970s, but it’s important to note that it may still be present in older homes and buildings constructed before that time. So depending on when your home or even furniture was built or painted, there is a potential for lead to be present in the paint. So when you have a Water Damage, Smoke Damage, Mold, or even a Biohazard Cleanup – any of those processes to clean and or restore can disturb the lead paint and could create a lead hazards. Therefore, safe practices are recommended when working on or living in older structures, including lead testing, containment, and proper remediation procedures to prevent lead exposure.
Lead paint timeline:
- Ancient Times: Lead-based paint was used in ancient Rome and Greece for various purposes, including decorating walls, pottery, and statues. The lead white pigment, made from lead carbonate, was particularly popular.
- Medieval and Renaissance Eras: The use of lead-based paint continued throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period in Europe. It was commonly used for decorative arts, including illuminated manuscripts and fine art paintings.
- 18th Century: Lead-based paint became more widely available and was used for residential and industrial applications. Its popularity grew due to its durability and water-resistant properties.
- 19th Century: Lead-based paint was extensively used in homes, ships, bridges, and various infrastructure projects. Its use was widespread, especially in the United States and Europe.
- 20th Century: Lead-based paint continued to be used for much of the 20th century. In the early 20th century, lead-based paint was used in homes, schools, and other buildings.
- 1970s: Concerns about the health hazards of lead exposure led to the gradual phase-out of lead-based paint in many countries, including the United States, starting in the 1970s.
- 1978: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of lead-based paint in residential properties, except for specific applications where it was deemed necessary, such as steel structures and industrial uses.
Cut it out!
In the United States, for example, the process of phasing out lead-based paint began in the 1950s and continued through the 1970s. The following are key milestones in the reduction and eventual banning of lead-based paint in the U.S.:
- 1950s and 1960s: Awareness of the health risks associated with lead-based paint increased during these decades. Many paint manufacturers began voluntarily reducing the lead content in their products.
- 1971: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established guidelines that limited the lead content in paint used in federally assisted housing.
- 1978: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the use of lead-based paint in residential properties for sale, lease, or renovation. This ban led to the discontinuation of lead-based paint for residential use.
- 1992: The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, commonly known as Title X, was enacted as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992. This law established requirements for the disclosure of lead-based paint hazards in housing built before 1978 and imposed regulations on lead-based paint hazard reduction in pre-1978 housing.
Can lead paint actually hurt you?
Lead poisoning is dangerous because lead is a toxic metal that can have serious and harmful effects on the human body, especially when it accumulates in high levels over time. Here are some key reasons why lead poisoning is dangerous:
Neurological Damage: Lead primarily affects the nervous system, especially in children. Even low levels of lead exposure can lead to cognitive impairments, developmental delays, and behavioral problems. High levels of exposure can result in seizures, coma, and even death. Developmental Effects: Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning because their bodies and brains are still developing. Lead can interfere with the normal development of the brain, leading to permanent intellectual and behavioral disabilities. Organ Damage: Lead poisoning can harm other organs in the body, including the kidneys, liver, and reproductive organs. Prolonged exposure to lead can lead to organ damage and dysfunction. It can also cause Anemia, Gastrointestinal issues, high blood pressure and heart problems, bone damage, fertility issues, psychological, and behavioral effects. Finally, the long-term effects of lead poisoning can have lifelong consequences, and the damage it causes may not be fully reversible, especially in cases of severe exposure during childhood.
It’s important to note that lead poisoning can occur through various sources, including contaminated water, lead-based paint,contaminated soil, and certain consumer products. Prevention is key to avoiding lead poisoning, and public health measures have been implemented to reduce lead exposure, such as the removal of lead-based paint and the regulation of lead in drinking water. If someone suspects lead exposure, it’s crucial to seek medical attention and take steps to reduce further exposure to prevent the serious health consequences associated with lead poisoning.
So what does DGR do about it?
Whenever we enter a home, no matter the damage, the history of the home itself is an important factor to how we can care for your home properly. If we suspect that there is lead paint or other toxic substances (ie; Asbestos) we will text accordingly and if positive we will make sure that it is removed properly either by us or another reputable company that specifically cares for these hazards. If you think you may have lead paint please feel free to call us! We are happy to help you out and assist you in getting your home tested for Lead or even Asbestos.