Lead in paint your home – what you need to know
Was your home built before 1978? If so there is a good chance it has lead-based paint. Lead paint is still present in millions of homes and sometimes under layers of newer paint. Here’s what you need to know if you find lead paint in your home.
Lead paint is usually not a problem, providing that the paint is in good shape. Deteriorating lead-based paint – for example peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged or damp – is however a hazard and will need immediate attention.
Where is it found?
As well as being found under layers of newer paints, it can also be hazardous when found on surfaces that get a lot of wear-and-tear. For example windows and window sills, doors and door frames, stairs, railings, banisters, skirting boards and porches.
Lead is naturally occurring, and can be found in high concentrations in some areas for example soil, gardens and playgrounds.
In a well-maintained home, lead in dust can still be an issue. When lead-based paint is scraped, canned or heated during DIY activities lead dust can form.
Lead can also be found in many products including, painted toys, furniture, toy jewellery, food or liquid containers, cosmetic and plumbing products.
Drinking water can also be affected by lead, it can enter drinking water through corrosed pipes.
Who’s at risk?
Children and adults, including pregnant women, are at risk from lead poisoning. Lead is particularly dangerous to children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do. Children’s brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.
A pregnant woman’s exposure to lead is of particular concern because it can result in exposure to her developing baby.
How to lower the risk from lead paint and make your home safe
There are many simple steps that will go a long way in preventing lead exposure, for example:
- inspect and maintain all painted surfaces to prevent paint deterioration
- keep your home clean and dust-free
- clean around painted areas where friction can generate dust, such as doors, windows, and drawers
- wash children’s hands, bottles, and toys often
- encourage children to wipe and remove their shoes and wash hands after playing outdoors.
How Envirochem can help with lead paint
It is important to have your home tested for lead if it was built before 1978. There are two ways to get your home checked, the first is a paint inspection.
We have 25 years experience in assessing chemical risks in buildings. When our team conducts a paint inspection, they are able to tell you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home. However from a paint inspection we are unable to tell you if the paint is a hazard. This test is appropriate when you are buying or renting a homeland before you do any DIY, and will help you to determine how to maintain your house for lead safety.
The second test that our team can carry out for your home is a risk assessment. This test allows our team to tell you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure such as peeling paint and lead dust. We will then provide you with information on what actions to take to address the hazards.
Get in touch with our team today to discover how our services can help keep you safe.