Understanding the Many Dangers of Lead Paint
There is a high chance of lead-based paint in homes and apartments built before 1978 (the year federal regulators banned lead from household paint). Up until 1978, lead was a common ingredient in most paint products. This was an unfortunate mistake as lead paint is a toxic metal that poses various health risks – especially to pregnant women and small children.
As long as the surface of lead paint isn’t chipped, pulverized, or broken, it shouldn’t cause serious health problems. However, dust and flakes can accumulate on household surfaces and miscellaneous objects when lead paint deteriorates. While anyone can be exposed to lead paint, young children are particularly vulnerable. The primary source of lead poisoning is everyday objects and dirt. Toddlers are at high risk because they are likely to accidentally absorb lead when putting toys, soil, and miscellaneous household items in their mouths.
This is particularly dangerous since young and growing brains/bodies naturally absorb more lead than adults. In fact, lead can even impact unborn babies if it enters the mother's blood system and fetus – causing premature birth, low weight, and damage to their sensitive brain/nervous system. At Five Star Painting of Tampa Bay, we believe staying informed about the potential health hazards of lead is critical to avoid health issues down the line. That is why we are here today: To educate you about this often-overlooked risk.
The Potential Health Effects of Living with Lead-Based Paint
In children, lead poisoning or consistent exposure to high levels of lead can cause:
- Stunted growth & bone marrow problems
- Hearing impairment
- Nervous system damage
- Kidney damage
- Behavioral problems
Even generally healthy children often experience undetected symptoms and mild side effects caused by lead exposure. Although lead is rarely ingested by grown-ups, they often inhale it via airborne particulates. Lead exposure in adults causes different health issues, including anemia, kidney damage, fertility issues, hearing and vision loss, elevated blood pressure, nerve disorders, memory impairment, and joint pain. We recommend preventively testing for lead and performing remediation services promptly.
It is no wonder many homeowners are concerned about lead paint with so many ailments. We highly recommend having a professional lead paint test if you live in an older building – regardless of whether the paint is peeling or chipping. A lead test can be useful in planning proper precautions if you're planning to repaint or renovate your home or intending to sell your home. Sellers are legally obligated to reveal the existence of lead paint hazards.
The Full Protocol of a Lead-Based Paint Inspection
The best way to check for lead paint in your home is by booking an inspection. A lead testing inspection process includes:
- Collecting paint samples from various surfaces – both inside and out.
- Examining each paint sample via X-ray fluorescence (XRF) or by sending them to an EPA-approved laboratory.
- The results should come back either positive or negative. If the results are inconclusive, we will need to remove larger paint samples and send them to a lab for further analysis.
- The final inspection report should specify surfaces with lead-based paint and surfaces without lead-based paint.
- If the inspection report is positive, we recommend taking temporary measures to reduce health risks – this is especially important before sanding, renovating, or painting.
Painting Over Lead Paint
Although we do not offer lead paint inspections or removal services, we can help in other ways. Painting over lead paint is one strategy you can taking in forming an added barrier against lead-based toxins. Before deciding to paint over lead paint, however, you want to make sure it is safe. If the old lead paint is in poor condition, covering it can be dangerous.
The best way to ensure you are making the right decision is to hire a professional lead paint removal team to assess the situation and offer an informed solution. If they deem painting over lead paint a viable solution, Five Star Painting of Tampa Bay is here to help. We understand the benefits of choosing encapsulation paint when painting over lead paint. Encapsulation can be a cost-effective remediation strategy – less expensive than removing lead paint and safer because it doesn’t expel airborne dust or debris.
If the conditions are acceptable to paint over lead-based paint, we can use one of three types of encapsulated paint types –
- Cement-type materials
Our painting specialists can apply an epoxy-based or polymer encapsulation paint and adhere to manufacturer directions. We can also repair any holes and cracks to create a smooth finish. Water-based encapsulants won’t stick and dry smoothly on wet, glossy, greasy, dusty, contaminated, or moldy surfaces. As a result, you need an expert to apply the paint seamlessly. Our professional preparation and time-tested techniques are essential to achieving lasting results.
Finally, please be aware that you may need to remove the lead paint to sell your property. We can recommend a trusted and certified lead-paint removal team if you decide to go this route. Whatever happens, we hope you have learned the importance of testing and fixing any lead-based hazards in your home.
To learn more about our painting services, call (813) 534-6775 or contact us online today!