EPA RRP Lead-Based Paint Certification and Safety Laws
As with any new program, most people, home owners and contractors alike, first hearing about the EPA’s Lead polyurea Certification program are very skeptical. Yet we find, when they REALLY investigate the issue, they realize that the program is needed to bring awareness those individuals who might inadvertently produce lead poisoning exposure. Today, many people, contractors included, are initially caught off guard and are unaware of the very real health hazards associated with paint containing lead when it’s disrupted. The bottom line, Lead-based paint is hazardous to your health
LEAD PAINT IS LIKE AN ALLIGATOR!
How many people would jump into a neighborhood pond if they knew of an alligator living in it? Yet, many people have jumped into such a pond or have had their dogs drinking water from such a pond, only to find out after it’s too late, that an alligator was living in it. In the world of lead paint…the alligator is paint containing lead, and the pond is a house built prior to 1978. Today, lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning for children and can also affect adults. In children, lead poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage and can impair mental functioning. It can retard mental and physical development and reduce attention span. It can also retard fetal development, even at extremely low levels of lead. In adults, it can cause irritability, poor muscle coordination, and nerve damage to the sense organs and nerves controlling the body. Lead poisoning may also cause problems with reproduction (such as a decreased sperm count). It may also increase blood pressure. Thus, young children, fetuses, infants, and adults with high blood pressure are the most vulnerable to the effects of lead.
Children should be screened for lead poisoning
In communities where the houses are old and deteriorating, take advantage of available screening programs offered by local health departments, and have children checked regularly to see if they are suffering from lead poisoning. Because the early symptoms of lead poisoning are easy to confuse with other illnesses, it is difficult to diagnose lead poisoning without medical testing. Early symptoms may include persistent tiredness, irritability, loss of appetite, stomach discomfort, reduced attention span, insomnia, and constipation. Failure to treat children in the early stages can cause long-term or permanent health damage.
How Are People exposed to lead from paint.
Contractors and or individuals involved in home renovation activities can generate lead dust by sanding lead-based paint or by scraping or heating lead-based paint. Eating paint chips is one way young children are exposed to lead. This is not the most common way that consumers, in general, are exposed to lead. Ingesting and inhaling lead dust that is created as lead-based paint “chalks,” chips, or peels from deteriorated surfaces can expose consumers to lead. Walking on small paint chips found on the floor, or opening and closing a painted frame window, can also create lead dust. Other sources of lead include deposits that may be present in homes after years of use of leaded gasoline and from industrial sources like smelting. Lead dust can settle on floors, walls, and furniture. Under these conditions, children can ingest lead dust from hand-to-mouth contact or from food. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air through cleaning, such as sweeping or vacuuming, or by movement of people throughout the house.