Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lead-based paint.

Recently I had a friend that asked me what's the danger that lead paint can be in her new rental apartment.
We all know that lead was used in paint before 1960 in US and we here lots on TV about lead used in toys for kids but do we know what it can do to our health?
Here is some info about lead;
Lead was used as a pigment in "alkyd" oil based paint. About two-thirds of the homes built before 1940 and one-half of the homes built from 1940 to 1960 contain heavily-leaded paint and only some homes built after 1960 also contain heavily-leaded paint.
It could be used on interior or exterior surfaces, on woodwork, doors and windows.
In 1978 the US Consumer Product Safety Commission lowered the legal maximum lead content in most kinds of paint to 0.06%
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that action to reduce exposure should be taken when the lead in paint is greater than 0.5% by lab testing or greater than 1.0 milligrams per square centimeter by X-ray fluorescent.
Lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning for children and adults, in children, lead poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage and can impair mental functioning.
In adults,it can cause irritability,poor muscle coordination, and nerve damage to the sense organs and nerves controlling the body, in rare cases even can cause problems with reproduction or increase blood pressure.
The current blood level which defines lead poisoning is 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood.
What to do if you have lead-paint;
1) Have the painted item replaced.
2) Cover the lead-based paint,you can spray the surface with sealant or cover it with gypsum wallboard.
3) Have the lead-based paint removed by a professionals trained in removing lead-based paint do this work.
4) Reduce lead dust exposure.You can remove a small amount of lead-based paint if you can avoid creating any dust.
You can periodically wet mop and wipe surfaces and floors with a high phosphorous cleaning solution (5%)
Government officials and health professionals continue to develop advice about removing lead-based paint but you can contribute to it by choosing products that are healthier to us and the environment.

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