Lead-Based Paints – Serious Health Concerns For Homeowners

A considerable number of older homes and other structures in Canada are painted with lead-based paints. This is a serious health issue that homeowners must take into consideration when planning renovation works on such properties. People are exposed to significant health risk when disturbing or removing lead-based paint. It is extremely important that you adopt a number of precautionary measures to minimize the risk associated with lead exposure.

Lead poisoning is a major health concern. Exposure to lead can cause anemia and damage to the human brain and the nervous system. This can seriously impair the learning capabilities of individuals. The risk of lead poisoning is even higher for children. Even a minimal exposure to dust with lead residues is extremely dangerous to infants since it is easily absorbed by their young bodies. Even the unborn child is not spared from the dangers of lead poisoning with the exposure to lead of pregnant women.

The basic determination whether lead-based paint is used in your home is based on when it was painted and built. If your home Spare parts for excavator was constructed before 1960, chances are lead-based paints were used on it. Homes that were constructed after 1980 may not have issues about lead-based paints in as far as the interior is concerned. However, the exterior part is another story, as there are instances where home exteriors are painted with lead-based paints. You won’t have to concern yourself with lead-based paints if your home has been constructed after 1992 since all paints manufactured in Canada by that time are all lead-free.

The removal of lead-based paints is a sensitive task which must be left to those who have the training for such jobs. Sometimes it is better to just leave these structures painted with lead-based paints alone as long as it is not within the reach of children and there is no problem with chipping. However, if there is already extensive chipping on the paintwork, then removing the paint should be your logical option.

Here are the two important ground rules that you must follow when working on lead-based paints:

โ€ข Determine what type of paint was used in your home. Before you start with the renovation, it is essential that you check whether your home was painted with lead-based paint or not. There are several ways by which you can do this. There are home renovation specialists who use special x-ray equipment that can detect the presence of lead on painted surfaces. Another alternative is to send paint chip samples for lab examination to determine whether there is lead in the paint or not. The testing is done by laboratories that are certified by the Canadian Association for Environmental Analytical Laboratories and the Standards Council of Canada.

โ€ข Strictly adhere to the safety requirements when working on lead-based paints. It is not advisable to use blowlamps, heat guns and sanders to remove lead-based pants. The use of this equipment will only make the job more difficult and counterproductive since they produce excessive amounts of fumes and dust that contain lead. It is best that you hire a professional for the job. However, if you decide to do the job yourself, it is essential that you use the appropriate paint stripper.

Paint strippers are made of corrosive chemicals, and it is important that you use them with extreme caution. You must observe the following guidelines when applying these harmful substances.

โ€ข The work area is off-limits for pregnant women and children.

โ€ข Remove all furniture and fixtures before commencing work. Cover with plastic sheeting those furnishings that cannot be transferred.

โ€ข Make sure that the work area is completely isolated from the other parts of the home. Cover the doorways and vents with tape or plastic sheeting to prevent chips, paint particles and scrapings from escaping.

โ€ข Make sure that the work area is properly ventilated. Set up a fan at the opposite end of an open window. Commence work near the fan and work your way towards the direction of the open window.

 

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