Much of the literature concerning adverse effects and warnings regarding exposure to lead is directed towards children. While children are particularly sensitive when it comes to their nervous system and with their brains still developing, adult exposure has resulted in fatalities at an alarming rate each year.
The substance is responsible for elevating high blood pressure risks, a chance for stroke, and instances of specific heart disease. A ‘blood lead level’ deemed safe for children is nonexistent and even low for adults reproduces health effects. This means the best precaution against the risk to your well-being is to avoid exposure. Don’t forget to research more on lead poisoning.
Preventing Lead From ‘Walking In The Front Door’
Some soils contain high concentrations of lead occurring naturally in the earth. Unfortunately, pollutants, including lead-based exterior paints or leaded fuels, are often found contaminating ground coverings.
In an effort to prevent these contaminants from finding their way into your home, you should always remove your shoes before walking into the house and ensure to wash your hands after arriving.
Children should avoid playing in the dirt with any bare ground covered by grass, mulch, or other outdoor elements. One of the most critical components to be concerned with inside the household with the potential for lead contamination is the water supply.
Reducing Exposure To Lead In The Drinking Supply
Lead-contaminated plumbing has the potential for seeping the substance into your drinking water, particularly for homes constructed prior to the 80s. In rare cases, a local water system can have the potential for this danger.
Claims indicate that the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA produces reports regarding the local water system quality. Still, the disclaimer reminds this is not a promise for lead-free water merely because the system shows no lead. For people whose home comprises soldered pipes, there is the possibility for lead to seep into the supply from water that has stagnated in the pipes.
Precaution should be taken in having the household supply tested by a certified EPA lab. In order to ensure the least amount of exposure, the tap should be flushed for well over a minute before incorporating water for cooking or attempting to consume. Rather than waste the amount of water running for that length of time, contain it for use with housekeeping or plants.
Hot water will cause more lead to dissolve from the pipes. It’s essential to use cold water for anything that will be consumed, particularly for children or infants.
Using a water filter is also recommended as long as it is an NSF International certified filter for removal of lead in water. All manufacturer instructions should be followed, especially directives regarding the cartridge change-out. It would help if you were mindful of small children grabbing a quick drink of water from a faucet without a filter in use, but you also need to pay attention in areas where there is peeling paint in an aged home.
Potential For Lead Paint In Homes Dated Pre 1980s
Small children will put everything in their mouth or nose or any opening in their face. It’s pretty much a given. They’re almost like baby goats. And when a child sees peeling paint, they will pull it off, and most will insert it into their mouth. In an older home, particularly, this is incredibly dangerous.
For the most part, there are layers of paint over top of the lead paint in old homes, and if it’s in good condition and of modern quality, the original covering shouldn’t be an issue. But when the consistency begins to chip, crack or peel, you have a hazard due to that initial layer. If you notice deterioration, the suggestion is to cover it with adhesive paper or duct tape to prevent further spread and keep particles from breaking into the air.
If you live in a home dated before the 80s with the potential for lead dust from the paint, precautions should be taken, even more, if you are unaware of the type of paint used in the house. Everyone’s hands should be thoroughly washed before consuming food, after playing with toys, and before the kids go off to bed.
Ideally, when you purchase a home dated earlier than 1980, it’s critical to learn the type of paint used originally from the landlord or those selling the home. Disclosure is required if the information is known before the contracts are signed.
If the information is unattainable, you should proceed as if the material is hazardous until a licensed lead inspector can go through the home. There is substantial literature provided by the EPA on almost any question you may have on the substance. If you choose to remodel or renovate, ensure that children or soon-to-be moms stay with family throughout the course of the project.
Lead is a danger for everyone living with it but particularly for our young developing children. If the substance is detected in your home, assessments should outline various steps to incorporate in an effort to decrease being exposed.
Though taking precautions are vital, elimination is ideal as much as possible, for example, lead pipe replacement or solder and in the adjustment of water chemistry to keep corrosion down. These may be costly endeavors, but they deem permanent solutions to the hazard instead of minimizing what is still a matter of having it near.
Public health agencies encourage those who own or rent houses or apartments constructed before the 1980s to have their water expertly tested and their plumbing components inspected. The claim is there has not been a threshold for lead determined but reasonably the least amount of time spent interacting with the substance the better.
Drinking water linked to lead is an age-old symptom of pipes produced with the compound as a base followed by the copper and iron versions incorporating it as a solder. It took time to realize that it wasn’t necessarily suitable for human consumption. Don’t forget to check further details concerning lead in tap water and its affects on children.
That has happened with many things throughout history. Ultimately, we live and learn. It’ll be interesting to find out in a few decades what we’re doing right now that’s probably not the best idea.