Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal found in the earth’s crust that is toxic and hazardous to human health. It is generally present in car batteries, ammunition, and lead-based paint. Exposure to lead either by ingesting it or inhaling dust from lead paint can cause lead poisoning. Lead poisoning occurs when lead accumulates in the body over a long period, usually months or years, resulting in health complications. Some of the health complications and symptoms include headaches, nerve damage, shortage of blood, kidney damage, brain damage, and stunted growth (especially in kids and developing babies). Lead poisoning is more common in homes constructed before 1971. Lead-based paint only poses a health risk when it chips, peels, or produces paint flakes. Therefore, if the lead paint is in good condition, it might not be hazardous to your health. It is, however, safer to remove lead-based paint in your home to prevent future health threats.
Before you can remove lead paint, you might have to conduct lead testing to determine whether all your wall paint contains lead. The test involves having your home walls scanned with portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) for the presence of lead or collecting the paint samples and having them tested at an accredited laboratory. Have the dust on your windows and doors and the soil around your home collected and assessed to ensure they are free of lead. As local experts, you can trust us at Irwin Asbestos Management to conduct the tests using methods approved by NATA. You can also carry out the testing on your own with a lead test kit. However, remember that the results might not be as accurate as those made by specialists.
If a high lead level is present in or around your living space during a risk assessment, health monitoring should be carried out for you and the members of your household. It is essential to conduct lead testing during a home renovation that includes painting your home or removing the existing wall paints.