Category

Lead

Mr. W’s Lead-in-blood levels were through the roof . . . a true story advocating for SAFE RENOVATIONS

By | Lead, Renovation | No Comments

The early 20th century house sat just off the sidewalk of a side street of the little Pennsylvania town. The missing steps and deserted tools evidenced the porch under construction. There were no curtains in the front window, and a 2×4 could be seen leaning over the inside of the window. The sound of a running bandsaw vibrated through my ear as I headed for the side entrance as instructed in our phone conversation. I knocked on the door, the saw went silent, and I was greeted by the retired couple. Huge smiles and a welcoming hand captured my attention immediately. As I shook Mr. W’s hand, he gently drew me into his kitchen.

After introductions, he said, “Let me show you what we are doing.” With enthusiasm, he noted that the kitchen was complete, and he was currently working on the front living room and performing some work upstairs. After a tour of the living room, fireplace room, back porch and upstairs living room, we settled on the bar stools at the kitchen island. Mr. W pulled out the report from his doctor noting that the lead in his blood was at 97 – dangerously high for an adult. He suspected that the lead may be leaching from the solder in the old copper pipes of their home and current renovation project. They had stopped drinking from their well water, but their doctor recommended that he have the water tested.

As my eyes glanced across the counter, I noted it was the only space without a layer of dust. I expressed my concern about the possibility that the dust was the issue. Mr. W looked at me puzzled, then commented, “But, I’m not eating the dust.” I handed him the EPA brochure, “The Lead Certified Guide to Renovate Right” and let him know I had brought the water test kit he had requested on the phone. I had also brought my XRF Analyzer and would like to have permission to take an analysis of some of the painted surfaces he was disturbing. Staring at the pamphlet, he nodded his head in a slow, still puzzled, “Yes.”

I walked into the living room, walked pass the band saw, pressed the nose of the XRF against the wall, and pulled the trigger. Twenty-five seconds later the screen displayed a number and the word “negative.” Mr. and Mrs. W released a sigh of relief as I announced the negative reading. Then I went to the pile of baseboards that had been removed from the wall, placed the nose of the XRF against one of them and pulled the trigger: positive.

  • Windowsills: positive.
  • Crown moldings: positive.
  • Hall wall: positive.
  • Hall floor: positive.
  • Fireplace mantel: positive.
  • Stair rail: positive.
  • Stair stringer: positive.
  • Stair tread: positive.
  • Bedroom wall: positive.

I took a sample of the water, and a few days later the lab report returned with a negative for lead. The dust wipes I had collected, however, came back with high readings for lead content. When I called Mr. W with the results, it was obvious he had not only read the pamphlet I provided him with, he had also done some on-line research. He had become the expert on SAFE RENOVATIONS. He had also scheduled an appointment for Mrs. W to have her blood tested. He shared his deep regret that he had not protected his wife of 40 years from potential lead poisoning. Mr. W. would have been safe if he had contained the work areas so as not to cross-contaminate the areas around the work area and had he donned the proper personal protective equipment.  He then added, “… and what else could I have disturbed that could cause us and our visiting family future health issues?”

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

What’s the first step in Evaluating & Eliminating Lead-Based Paint Hazards?

By | Lead | No Comments

What’s the first step in Evaluating & Eliminating Lead-Based Paint Hazards?

Lead inspections and lead risk assessments are useful first steps, which can lead to more thoughtful decisions on managing lead-based paint and lead hazards.

Lead abatement is an activity designed to permanently eliminate lead-based paint hazards. Abatement is sometimes ordered by a state or local government, and can involve specialized techniques not typical of most residential contractors.

EPA requires individuals and firms who perform abatement projects in pre-1978 target housing and child-occupied facilities to be certified and follow specific work practices.

Learn more about more about the Lead Abatement, Inspection and Risk Assessment by visiting the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-abatement-inspection-and-risk-assessment

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

For Contractors, Renovators, & Home Improvement Professionals –

By | Lead | No Comments

For Contractors, Renovators, & Home Improvement Professionals – What is the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program?

EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) Rule requires that firms performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities and pre-schools built before 1978 be certified by EPA (or an EPA-authorized state), use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices.

For more information on the EPA rule, visit:  https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-renovation-repair-and-painting-program

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

Housing Lessors and Sellers: Know Your Responsibilities Before You Sell or Lease

By | Lead | No Comments

Know the facts about Lead and your responsibility to Buyers and Lessors!

Property Managers and Landlords (per EPA)

As owners, landlords, agents and managers of rental property, you play an important role in protecting the health of your tenants and their children. Buildings built before 1978 are much more likely to have lead-based paint.

Federal law requires you to provide certain important information about lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards before a prospective renter is obligating under lease to rent from you.

Landlords must give prospective tenants of target housing, including most buildings built before 1978:

  • An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards,
  • Any known information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards pertaining to the building.
    • For multi-unit buildings this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained as a result of a building-wide evaluation.
  • A lead disclosure attachment to the lease, or language inserted in the lease, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that you have complied with all notification requirements.

Real Estate Agents and Home Sellers (per EPA)

As real estate agents and home sellers, you play an important role in protecting the health of families purchasing and moving into your home. Buildings built before 1978 are much more likely to have lead-based paint.

Federal law requires you to provide certain important information about lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards before a prospective buyer is obligated under a contract to purchase your home.

Real estate agents must:

  • Inform the seller of his or her obligations under the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule. In addition, the agent is responsible, along with the seller or lessor, if the seller or lessor fails to comply; unless the failure involves specific lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazard information that the seller or lessor did not disclose to the agent.
  • Provide, as part of the contract process, an EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards,  Attach to contract, or insert language in the contract, a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirmation that you have complied with all notification requirements.
  • Provide a 10-day period to conduct a paint inspection or risk assessment for lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards. Parties may mutually agree, in writing, to lengthen or shorten the time period for inspection. Homebuyers may choose to waive this inspection opportunity.

For more information visit: https://www.epa.gov/lead/real-estate-disclosures-about-potential-lead-hazards

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

WHAT IS LEAD & WHY IS IT DANGEROUS?

By | Lead | No Comments

What is lead & Why is it dangerous?

  • Lead is a soft, malleable metal.  It is also counted as a heavy metal and a poor metal (which means it is softer, weaker, and has a lower boiling point than other metals).  It is poisonous to both humans and animals.
  • Lead can damage the nervous system and cause brain disorders.
  • Excessive lead also causes blood disorders and is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates both in soft tissues and in the bones.
  • The effects of lead are the same whether it enters the body through breathing or swallowing.
  • Lead can affect almost every organ and system in the body.  The main target for lead toxicity, however, is the nervous system.
  • Long-term exposure can cause decreased performance in tests that measure functions of the nervous system, cause weakness in fingers, wrists or ankles, cause small increases in blood pressure, and can cause anemia.
  • High exposures to lead levels can severely damage the brain and kidneys, ultimately causing death.
  • Lead exposure has also been linked to learning disabilities.
  • Lead that is emitted into the atmosphere, for example, sanding a painted area, can be inhaled or it can be ingested after it settles out of the air.  It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.

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

 

EPA’s Lead Poisoning Home Checklist

By | Lead | No Comments

Lead Poisoning Home Checklist (by the EPA)

The following questions will help you determine if your family is at risk for lead poisoning.

  1. Was your home built before 1978?
  2. Do you see walls, furniture, or window sills in your home with chipping or peeling paint?
  3. Do you children play in lead-contaminated soil near your home?
  4. Do you store food in imported pottery that contains lead?
  5. Do you work with lead in your job?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, have your home tested by a certified professional.

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.

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.

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.

Not Devils of the Past

By | Asbestos, Lead | No Comments

Asbestos and lead-based paint aren’t devils of the past.
They can still be found, and they can cause fatal health problems.

 

Despite cleanup efforts, there is still enough asbestos and lead-based paint to last for generations. While not dangerous if remained undisturbed, if not maintained properly, they can deteriorate and become a serious health hazard to both adults and children. Many homeowners or businesses can’t afford lead-based paint or asbestos abatement. It can cost thousands of dollars depending on the size of the project. Fortunately, if lead-based paint is covered with non-lead paint, you can safely live in the home. The same goes for asbestos if it is encapsulated. But these are temporary fixes if not maintained. Some states have housing programs that can help residents remove health hazards from their homes.

Not only is there an immense amount of asbestos and lead that exist from previous use, but the use of these products today has not been entirely banned.

The manufacture, importation, processing and distribution in commerce of these asbestos-containing products are not banned:

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