Up until 1978, an unfriendly little additive was included in the paint that adorned many American homes. This additive was included in paint for several reasons. Back in the day, paint manufacturers included various compounds of this substance in their paint to help achieve a desired hue or alter the perceived brightness of a particular pigment. They also included this substance because it increased the paints durability, while at the same time, decreased drying time. This additive also caused the paint to be more water-resistant, making it ideal for use on dishes and children's toys. In spite of all these benefits, this little additive posed a big problem. The additive we are referring to is, of course, lead. As long as lead stays in the paint itself, this heavy metal that also occurs naturally on an elemental level in the environment, would pose little risk to homeowners.
The problem with lead-based paint that was used in many homes prior to 1978 is two-fold. First, as lead-based paint deteriorates over time, tiny particles of dust can become airborne. These particles of dust may be either breathed in or ingested through normal daily activities. Second, when a home that was painted with a lead-based paint undergoes remodeling or renovation, construction dust can become more than just a nuisance to homeowners; it can become a danger. Lead is dangerous to all humans and animals, but presents a particular problem to young children whose nervous systems are still developing. Exposure to lead dust can cause a low IQ, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities. In adults, exposure can cause high blood pressure, hypertension, and confusion. Because of the danger that lead-based paint presents to the American people, the Environmental Protection Agency banned its use in residential construction in 1978. If you are planning a renovation, and your home was built prior to that year, it is quite possible that the paint on the walls of your home contains lead, and your family is at risk for lead dust exposure. As a homeowner, you are responsible for the safety of all those who live in your home.
If you are a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your renters. This means that if you are planning a renovation, it is your responsibility to hire a contractor who is well versed in lead-safe construction practices. These practices include, but are not limited to:
- properly preparing the area in which renovation is to occur. Furniture and personal items may need to be removed from the area. Large pieces of furniture that cannot be removed and safely stored elsewhere may need to be covered.
- cordoning off areas in which the work is to be done. This will prevent any lead dust from being released into the residence, and is generally done by hanging plastic sheeting in doorways. If work on a home's exterior is to be performed, plastic sheeting and scaffolding systems can be set up to prevent an abundance of lead dust from being released into the general environment.
- turning off ventilating fans, or forced heating and air conditioning systems to prevent any dust from contaminating the rest of your home through its ventilation system.
This may also mean that you and other occupants of your home will need to stay out of the work area until all renovations are complete, and workers have properly cleaned exposed surfaces. For the duration of your renovation, you may need to make other arrangements for the use of kitchen and bathroom facilities. Of course, there is no way to completely contain all the dust that is stirred up during home remodeling, however, working with an experienced, professional contractor can help protect your loved ones from the ill effects of any lead dust that is stirred up during the remodeling process. To learn more about the EPA recommendations that an experienced contractor should follow when renovating your home, check out this article. Learn how ECOBOND® LBP - Lead Defender® is different than Encapsulants and is a Lead-Based Paint Treatment Download free Industry Report: http://www.LeadPaintRemovalReport.com Why Just Cover it When You Can Treat it!