Homes built prior to 1978 likely contain lead-based paint. In fact, the older your home is, the more likely it is to contain paint with a high level of lead. Lead is a toxic metal that if inhaled or ingested can be the cause of numerous health problems for adults, including high blood pressure and memory loss. Lead-based paint is particularly harmful to children, especially those who are two years old or younger. If a child is exposed to lead, he or she has a higher chance of having a lower I.Q., developing a learning disorder, and displaying problematic behavior. Damage to the central nervous system and to your child’s brain are also possible dangers of lead-based paint.
When To Be Worried About the Dangers of Lead-Based Paint
If you suspect your house paint is in good condition, then you and your family can probably breathe easy. The problems arise once the lead-based paint starts to chip, peel, or is otherwise disturbed. This means that flakes of paint and dust can enter the air and be inhaled, or drift down to cover household surfaces, including your carpet, furniture, counters, and more, as well as your child’s toys, blankets, and bedding. Imagine all the things your child likes to put in his or her mouth–fingers, clothing, toys, and most anything else they can get their hands on. All of these pose serious health dangers if they are covered in toxic dust or particles of lead-based paint.
What To Do About Lead-Based Paint
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends having the level of lead in your child’s blood tested when they are one or two years of age. Testing is also recommended for three to six-year-olds if they live or spend significant time in a home built prior to 1950, one built before 1978 that is undergoing renovation or has recently been remodeled, or if another child they see frequently or a sibling has been poisoned by lead.
Wipe down surfaces where dust has accumulated and carefully dispose of the damp cloth or paper towel. Mop your floors and vacuum carpets and upholstery. If you spot paint chips, take special care when removing them. Do not touch the chips with your bare hands! Remove them with a paper towel, throw the towel away, and clean the area where you discovered the paint.
The EPA strongly recommends hiring a professional to perform a Lead-Based Paint Inspection if your home was built before 1978 so that you can have peace of mind that your family is safe from the dangers of lead-based paint in your home. Cowan Inspections Group offers these inspections along with a full array of home and commercial building inspection services to the Greater Salt Lake City Area. Contact us to schedule your appointment!