Lead is a very useful and common metal that has some very hazardous health effects. It is a neurotoxin that can accumulate in soft tissue and bones which can lead to brain disorders. This is generally a hazard if it is ingested, however there can be issues with lead dust making its way into your blood stream through inhalation and, in some cases, through absorption into your skin mostly through open cuts. Our professionals have a detailed understanding of the hazards and how you can protect yourself. We have gathered a few common questions and have provided comprehensive responses. If you have any further questions you can always contact us and ask one of our experts.
Lead is a highly toxic metal found in small amounts throughout the earth’s crust. Due to its abundance, low cost, high resistance to corrosion, and physical properties, lead and lead compounds have been used in a wide variety of products including paint, ceramics, pipes, solders, gasoline, batteries, and cosmetics. Since 1980, federal and state regulatory standards have been developed to minimize and potentially eliminate the hazardous amount of lead in consumer products and occupational settings.
Today, the most common sources of lead exposure in the United States are lead-based paint in older homes (Pre 1978 Construction), contaminated soil, household dust, drinking water, lead crystal, and lead-glazed pottery. While extreme lead exposure can cause a variety of neurological disorders such as lack of muscular coordination, convulsions and coma, much lower lead levels have been associated with measurable changes in children’s mental development and behavior. These include hyperactivity; deficits in fine motor function, hand-eye coordination, reaction time and lowered performance on intelligence tests. Chronic lead exposure in adults can result in increased blood pressure, decreased fertility, cataracts, nerve disorders, muscle and joint pain, and memory or concentration problems.
Children under the age of six are at the greatest risk for lead poisoning due to their hand to mouth behavior. Lead paint has a sweet taste and is pleasing to young children. Before the age of two, children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning. They are, of course, more likely than older children to put lead-contaminated hands, toys or paint chips in their mouths. Moreover, a child's gastrointestinal tract also absorbs lead more readily than does an adult’s intestinal tract. Lead poisoning is a deceptive hazard, in which a month-by-month accumulation of lead in a child's body occurs. Very rarely do lead poisoning events occur from one exposure. Please make no mistake; childhood lead poisoning side effects are irreversible. If you have a child which displays any of the aforementioned symptoms you may need to have a risk assessment performed in addition to the inspection process. A certified lead risk assessor should perform this investigation.
A risk assessment identifies: