Lead is a serious toxin. Luckily, it is manageable.
Lead has been known as a toxin for centuries. Continuing trends toward greater safety have brought lead into the spotlight again. Lead is most poisonous to children under the age of 7. Most of us survived lead’s health risks as children. Today, however, many parents want to better understand these risks.
Occasionally, lead-in-drinking-water tests yield results that are above the new strict guidelines. Such tests can be performed as part of a home inspection. Water treatment is available as necessary.
Lead in household dust from lead-based paint is the more common source of lead poisoning. Lead-based paint was not banned until 1978 which puts all older housing at risk. It is not the presence of the lead-based paint alone that creates the hazard. The hazard is ingesting any dust created by the lead-painted surfaces.
Routine maintenance of homes (and children!) makes a world of difference. Statistics show that lead poisoning is most prevalent in poor urban areas.
EPA lead-based paint control protocols focus on lead-based paint “hazard” rather than lead-based paint presence. Legislation also focuses on “in-place management” rather than removal of the paint.
At your discretion, a specialist can be hired to either:
- test for the presence of lead-based paint, or
- perform a lead paint hazard risk assessment. More information on the subject is available from a number of governmental agencies (including the EPA) and private organizations.
The lead hazard must be taken seriously … and addressed rationally.