Category

Lead Paint

The Delicacy of Invisible Dust and Infants

By | Lead, Lead Paint, Safety | No Comments

The Johnson family just moved into their new home. Their younger children run in and out of the back door to play in the yard. Their older children go in and out of the front door to visit with friends. Their infant spends time playing on the floor with toys while the parents go about their day. Since it’s a beautiful sunny day, they open the windows to experience the fresh Spring air! A perfect day in the life of a young family.

But, every time the doors open and close, the friction points of the door and the door jamb rub against one another and release invisible dust. Every time the windows are opened and shut, more friction, more dust.

Every time they go from one room to another, opening and closing each room’s door, more invisible dust. If their home or apartment was constructed before 1978, there is the chance that each release of dust contains lead.

Their infant innocently crawls on the floor, their moist, soft hands gathering the dust. He put his hands in his mouth, sucking and chewing. He picks up his toys (covered in the invisible dust) and puts them in his mouth. Mom fixes lunch on the kitchen counter, which is covered with invisible dust, then sets the infant in his highchair on which the fold-down tabletop is covered with invisible lead dust. Dad feeds the infant the food which was delightfully placed on the contaminated plates.

No surprise now that this infant is suffering from lead poisoning.

How do we prevent this? We recommend two things.

  1. clean any surface then is near or has lead-based paint on it. This drastically reduces the risk of the infant getting lead poisoning
  2. Paint over the surface. This is the most effective way in reducing the risk of lead-based paint exposure because you are essentially installing a barrier between you and the lead-based paint.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY ebook.

DO WE NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT LEAD-BASED PAINT IN OUR HOME/BUILDING?

By | Lead, Lead Paint | No Comments

Do we need to be concerned about lead-based paint in our home?

If your home was built before 1978, it is more likely to have lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-based paint, but some states banned it even earlier.

Visit the EPA website to learn more:  epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-sources-lead#main-content.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book.

WHEN IS LEAD PAINT DANGEROUS?

By | Lead Paint | No Comments

WHEN IS LEAD PAINT DANGEROUS?

Lead paint is still present in millions of homes, sometimes under layers of newer paint. If the paint is in good shape, the lead paint is usually not a problem.

Deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged, or damp) is a hazard and needs immediate attention.

Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear, such as:

  • Windows and window sills;
  • Doors and door frames; and
  • Stairs, railings, banisters, and porches.

Visit the EPA website to learn more:  epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-sources-lead#main-content.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book.

TIPS TO REDUCE LEAD EXPOSURE IN OLD HOMES & BUILDINGS

By | Lead, Lead Paint | No Comments

TIPS TO REDUCE LEAD EXPOSURE IN OLDER HOMES & BUILDINGS

  • Inspect and keep all painted surfaces in excellent shape and clean up dust frequently with a wet cloth or paper towel
  • Consult a certified lead professional before beginning renovation, repair or painting projects. Renovation, repair or painting activities can create toxic lead dust when painted surfaces are disturbed or demolished.
  • Avoid tracking lead dust into the home by wiping and removing shoes before entering the home and placing dust mats both inside and outside of entryways.
  • Learn if you have a lead service line. Contact your water utility or a licensed plumber to determine if the pipe that connects your home to the water main (called a service line) is made from lead.
  • Visit the EPA website to learn more: gov/lead/protect-your-family-sources-lead#main-content.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit baxtergroupinc.com.  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY e-book.

Lead on Superfund Sites

By | Lead Paint | No Comments

The Superfund Redevelopment Initiative works with communities to provide site-specific support to help them reclaim thousands of acres of formerly contaminated land. This allows vacant land to be cleaned up and reused for other purposes such as parks, business districts, renewable energy facilities, neighborhoods, wildlife habitats, and farms. In turn, it provides job opportunities, strengthening the community’s economy. The local Superfund site is Hagerstown’s Central Chemical Superfund Redevelopment Initiative Pilot Project.

However, lead has become a common environmental contaminant at Superfund sites across the country because it is a naturally occurring element. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts site-by-site lead risk assessments to determine potential health risks for workers and the surrounding community. Superfund’s risk managers use the risk assessment information to select the best cleanup strategies.

Superfund sites use a risk assessment paradigm. This diagram (below) represents the components of ecological and human health risk assessments.

Health Effects of Lead in Drinking Water

By | Lead Paint | No Comments

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur. These are called maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs). The maximum contaminant level goal for lead in drinking water is zero because lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels.

Young children are particularly at risk to lead because a dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a significant effect on a child. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the nervous system, learning disabilities, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

EPA estimates that 20% or more of a person’s total exposure to lead comes from drinking water. Infants who consume mostly mixed formula can receive 40% to 60% of their exposure to lead from drinking water. Below are possible warning signs of lead exposure:

Children

  • Behavior and learning problems.
  • Lower IQ and hyperactivity.
  • Slowed growth.
  • Hearing problems.
  • Ingestion of lead can cause seizures, coma and even death.

Adults

  • Cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension.
  • Decreased kidney function.
  • Reproductive problems (in both men and women)

Pregnant Women

Lead can accumulate in our bodies over time, where it is stored in bones along with calcium. During pregnancy, lead is mistaken as calcium and released from bones. Lead can also cross the placental barrier exposing the fetus to lead. This can result in serious effects such as:

  • Reduced growth of the fetus
  • Premature birth

A Few Ways to Reduce Lead in Drinking Water at Home

  1. Flush your pipes: Flush your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.
  2. Only use cold water for eating and drinking: Hot water can contain higher levels of lead.

Note that boiling water will NOT get rid of lead contamination.

Use water filters or treatment devices:  Many water filters and water treatment devices are certified by independent organizations for effective lead reduction. Devices that are not designed to remove lead will not work. Verify the claims of manufacturers by checking with independent certifying organizations that provide lists of treatment devices they have certified.

A question on your mind after reading through this may be: Can I shower in lead-contaminated water??

Yes, you can. Bathing should be safe for you and your children, even if the water contains lead over EPA’s action level because human skin does not absorb the lead in water.

 

To learn more, visit EPA’s webpage about Lead in Drinking Water