Featured News 2013 Discovering Lead Paint in Your Home

Discovering Lead Paint in Your Home

While new homes are quite common as our cities are ever expanding, there are also many homes that have been around for a while; keeping the history and class of certain communities alive. However, when we enjoy the beauty of older homes, there is also a very real health concern that home owners must be aware of. Any houses, or other properties, that were built prior to 1978 are likely carriers of lead within the very walls of the structure. Lead paint was a common chemical used within household paints, a danger that many people were not aware of until years down the road when illnesses began appearing. If you live in a home that has been around since the late 70's it is important that you have it tested for the presence of lead products. Not only that, but it is encouraged you see a health professional immediately to find out how much lead you have been exposed to and the extent of which it has contaminated your bloodstream.

Lead paint was an extremely common ingredient used in many household products and in various other places as well. This would include not only paints, but also gasoline, solder, pottery, water pipes and more. Due to these products being made with lead your water in the home can be contaminated and lead can be found in dust, your food, soils around the house. When lead was used in the past, it was never considered to be a danger because when it is in good condition it poses no threat to those nearby. However, what people have learned is that once the paints start chipping or the product starts wearing down, the dust particles can be released and when a person inhales or ingests it then the dangers are made very real. Once it is in our body, it will makes its way into our bloodstream.

According to statistics by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) there are an estimated 310,000 children that have dangerous levels of lead within their bloodstream; generally as a result of paint. Kids are generally the most venerable for lead paint exposure as they are known for crawling around on the floor, placing objects in their mouths as well as sticking their hands in their mouths. And as we all know, kids tend to put many unknown objects in their mouths with means that they would actually be swallowing lead because of this. What makes the ingestion of this chemical so dangerous for children is the fact that they actually absorb faster than an adult due to their fast growing rates. Because of this, they are at far greater risk of high levels of lead in their bodies.

The dangers of lead exposure are significant and can result in mental and physical delays in development, brain damage, learning disabilities, neurological impairments, and shorter attention span. If a pregnant woman is exposed to lead there is also a higher risk for her pregnancy to end in a miscarriage or still birth. Sadly, these are not the only health affects lead contamination can have. It can also lead to conditions such as hypertension, seizures, anemia, nerve damage, muscle and joint impairment, irritability and even death.

How then, can we protect our family from lead exposure? If you currently live in a home that has lead, it is your responsibility to do whatever you can to keep the home clean. By keeping your house dust free, you will reduce the risks significantly. Next, make sure your children's products are very clean. Frequently take the time to disinfect your kids toys as well as bottles. Encourage your household to regularly wash their hands. Keeping your children healthy is another way to protect them from lead absorption, because the more calcium and iron they have the healthier their bodies are to fight off lead absorption.

If you are currently in the housing market, for a new home do your research before buying a home. Consider contacting a trusted real estate attorney to help you with the legal matters regarding the purchasing and selling of your new home to ensure that you are protected from anything that can cause you to lose money or place your family at risk. According to the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, all homeowners and landlords are required by law to inform buyers and renters of the presence of lead on their property. They are also required to give you information regarding how to protect you and your family from lead if you choose to purchase the home anyway. Contact a real estate attorney in your area to learn more about purchasing a home!

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