One of the most common elements used in paints (before everyone knew about the side effects) was lead. It increased the durability and the pigmentation of the paint but at the same time affected the health of the residents. Although banned in 1978, millions of schools, business and homes still have lead based paints on their walls.
- 24% of homes built from 1960-1978
- 69% of homes built from 1940-1960
- 87% of homes built before 1940
Why is lead dangerous?
Lead paint is hazardous. From causing reproduction problems in adults, to stunting growth of children and damaging the nervous system, lead pain is a huge problem and is also a carcinogen. High levels of lead in the body can lead to death.
Lead tastes sweet, which is often the reason why children end up putting paint chips from their toys with lead in their mouths. This affects their mental as well as physical development while at the same time affecting the nervous system. In adults, it decreases sperm production, affects reproduction in women and affects the kidneys.
Lead paint in the house
As there are millions of old houses with lead paint, it is necessary to keep your family and yourself safe. Dominick Ciccarelli explains that a home with lead paint that is not chipping, peeling or chalking can be ok to live in. However, there are a few necessary precautions that you should follow:
- Regularly vacuum the home with a HEPA vacuum and make sure that you change the bag after filtering
- If you have children, you need to wash toys, bottles, pacifiers and the stuffed animals
- Have your children tested for lead
- Make sure that your children do not peel the paint, ingest it or bring their mouth near any painted surface.
Symptoms of lead poisoning
Lead can enter the bloodstream if you ingest the lead paint dust, chips or inhale the dust or fumes that come from torching or sanding the paint. The symptoms of the lead poisoning include:
- High blood pressure
- Muscle and joint pain
- Difficulties in pregnancy
- Hearing problems
- Loss of memory
- Reproductive problems
- Minimum to no concentration
- Trouble with digestion
It is important that if you are removing lead paint from the home to get your family out of the house and let professionals do all the work.