What is lead-based paint and why is it dangerous?
Before the 1980s, lead was popularly used in paints for increased durability, accelerated drying, and corrosion resistance. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned lead paint in 1978 because of the danger it posed to people. Lead-based paint poisoning can cause a wide range of health problems, including:
- Memory problems
- Brain damage
- Abdominal pain
- Kidney damage
- Muscle and joint pain
- Irritability and mood problems
- Reduced sperm count
- Miscarriages, premature births, and stillbirths
- High blood pressure
- Digestive problems
- Loss of consciousness
How to Identify Lead Paint
Lead paint identification can be difficult, especially if for untrained individuals. However, there are a few signs you can look for to help you determine if paint is lead-based or not. Below are some tips for identifying lead paint in your home/business:
- Age – Determine when the house was constructed to. If it is before 1978, it most likely has lead paint.
- Condition – Examine the paint carefully. If it is cracking, wrinkling, or producing a chalky residue, it could be lead paint.
- Test –Try using a home lead paint testing kit but take note that they are less accurate and safe compared to professional test and lab analysis.
- Professional – Professional lead paint inspection and testing is the most reliable method for identifying lead paint.
How to Remove Lead Paint
If you’re not a professional, removing lead paint is not something you should attempt on your own. It can be dangerous and if you’re not careful, you could be the victim of lead-based paint poisoning.
Depending on what kind of shape the lead paint is in, you may be able to paint over it. If the lead paint isn’t flaking, peeling, cracking, or chipping, you may be able to use encapsulant primer and paint to cover and seal in the lead paint. Encapsulants prevent lead based paint from chipping, flaking, and producing lead dust. This helps prevent the lead paint from posing a health risk even though it hasn’t been removed.
While painting over lead based paint can be an option, in most cases, your best option is to have a lead abatement professional remove the lead paint for you. They will know how to take care of lead paint removal safely, efficiently, and thoroughly.
Suspect you have a lead paint problem? Call RPF Environmental at 603-942-5432 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation with our experienced lead testing and abatement specialists today.