If your home was built before 1978, or your children attend a school building that was built before then, you should know what federal guidelines are in place to prevent lead contamination. Additionally, federal law requires that contractors doing work in any place built before 1978 adhere to these guidelines. Here’s what the Environmental Protection Agency wants you to know about lead safety:
1. People are exposed to lead in different ways.
- Dust is the main problem. It comes from deteriorating lead-based paint and lead-contaminated soil that gets tracked into your home.
- It’s also prevalent in soil and paint chips.
- Lead gets into the body when swallowed or inhaled.
2. Lead exposure has adverse effects on the body. It is very dangerous to children (especially under six years of age) due to its affects on their developing nervous systems, which may cause:
- Reduced IQ
- Learning disabilities
- Behavioral issues
Lead is also harmful to adults, and some other health risks include:
- High blood pressure/hypertension
- Risk to pregnant women who may pass it to their fetuses
3. There are ways to find out if your family has been exposed to lead.
- A blood test is the only way to find out if you’ve been exposed to lead. See your doctor if you’re worried that you’ve been exposed.
- Call your local health department for information on reducing and eliminating exposures to lead in your home.
- Always use lead safe work practices when renovating/repairing.
Tips on how to maintain a lead free home:
- Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces.
- Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often.
- Make sure children eat healthy and nutritious meals (to help protect from the effects of lead exposure).
- Wipe shoes before entering the house.
Lensis Builders, Inc. is a lead-safe certified firm and is committed to keeping you and your family safe. For more information on how to maintain lead safe practices, please visit the EPA’s website here.