Facts About Lead Paint
Lead paint is frequently found in many buildings and homes that were built before 1978. As it deteriorates, lead-based paint mixes with household dust or soil in and around a home. Lead can then be absorbed by the body through inhalation or consumption. Infants and children under the age of 6 are most at risk for developing serious medical complications from lead poisoning. These health complications include learning disabilities, hearing loss, violent behavior, and damage to the brain or other vital organs. Lead paint is also hazardous during renovation projects as renovations can release lead dust and paint chips into the air. Because of this risk for hazardous conditions, the EPA has developed new standards for renovation and construction projects on pre-1978 buildings. If you are planning a renovation project or have found deteriorating paint in your building, contact Advanced Environmental Services to learn more about our lead paint remediation services.
Dangers & Health Risks of Lead-Based Paint
Lead-based paint can cause serious health risks and complications for both children and adults. The absorption of lead into the body can result in a wide variety of complications including damage to the brain and other vital organs such as the kidneys, nerves, and blood. Additionally, in children lead paint can cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, and even death. Even at low levels, lead can retard fetal development, so pregnant women especially, should avoid contact with lead paint, dust, or paint chips.
Lead is a highly toxic metal that is typically known to be most dangerous to young children. Behaviors that increase children’s risk for contracting lead poisoning from lead based paint include:
- Putting their hands or other-lead contaminated objects into their mouths
- Eating paint chips found in homes with peeling or flaking lead paint
- Playing in soil contaminated with lead
Even in adults, lead-based paint can result in a number of complications including irritability, poor muscle coordination, and nerve damage to the sense organs and nerves controlling the body. Lead poisoning from exposure to lead-based paint may also cause increased blood pressure, making it especially dangerous to individuals with already high blood pressure levels. While children may not show any symptoms of lead poisoning, common symptoms in adults can include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, and tiredness.
Where you will Find Lead Paint
Lead was used as a drying agent and pigment in “alkyd” oil based paint up until 1978 when the Consumer Product Safety Commission lowered the minimum acceptable levels. It is estimated that about two-thirds of homes and buildings built before 1940 and one-half of the homes and buildings built from 1940 to 1960 contain lead paint. Additionally, some homes built up until 1978 contain led-based paint. Lead paint may be found on any interior or exterior surface including woodwork, doors, and windows. It is important to have a home or building tested for the presence of lead paint prior to renovations or if the paint or underlying surface is deteriorating.
The presence of lead paint does not necessarily signify a hazard, since lead-based paint that is in good condition is not likely to resulting in lead poisoning. However, the following are some common situations where lead paint is likely to be hazardous:
- Lead paint that is peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking.
- Lead paint on surfaces that receive a lot of wear and tear including windows or window sills, doors or door frames, stairs or stair rails, hardwood floors, and porches or fences.
- Lead paint on surfaces that are undergoing renovations.
- Lead paint in multi-family buildings.
Advanced Environmental Services provides lead paint remediation services for residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout St. Louis, St. Charles, & Columbia, Missouri. If you suspect that your home or building may contain hazardous lead paint, contact us for an evaluation and customized solution. Our professional lead paint remediation services can help ensure a healthy environment for your home or business.
Learn More Lead Paint Facts
To learn more lead remediation and lead paint facts, visit the EPA's Lead Paint Website.