Lead and Lead Paint
Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death.
Children 6 years old and under are most at risk, because their bodies are growing quickly. This is why home inspections are important, if you think that your home could contain lead you should have a Building Specs home inspector come out and perform a lead paint environmental inspections.
Research suggests that the primary sources of lead exposure for most children are:
- deteriorating lead-based paint,
- lead contaminated dust, and
- lead contaminated residential soil
Did you know the following facts about lead?
Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born.
Fact: Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
Fact: You can get lead in your body by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips containing lead.
Fact: You have many options for reducing lead hazards. In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard.
Fact: Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family.
If you think your home might have lead hazards, read on to learn about lead and some simple steps to protect your family.
Health Effects of Lead
*Childhood lead poisoning remains a major environmental health problem in the U.S..*
*Even children who appear healthy can have dangerous levels of lead in their bodies.*
People can get lead in their body if they:
Lead is even more dangerous to children than adults because:
- Put their hands or other objects covered with lead dust in their mouths.
- Eat paint chips or soil that contains lead.
- Breathe in lead dust (especially during renovations that disturb painted surfaces).
If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from:
- Babies and young children often put their hands and other objects in their mouths. These objects can have lead dust
- Children's growing bodies absorb more lead.
- Children's brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.
Lead is also harmful to adults. Adults can suffer from:
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Behavior and learning problems (such as hyperactivity)
- Slowed growth
- Hearing problems
- Difficulties during pregnancy
- Other reproductive problems (in both men and women)
- High blood pressure
- Digestive problems
- Nerve disorders
- Memory and concentration problems
- Muscle and joint pain