Prior to 1965, lead based paints were extensively used in the residential and commercial building industries. The reason lead was used in paints was because it provided the desired pigment and accelerated the drying process, as well as increased paint durability. However, once it was proven that lead based paints presented “real” health and environmental hazards, many countries regulated it, and banned its use in homes.
Since then, alternative, lead-free paints such as water-based paints are available and safe to use in homes.
Why Should Lead Based Paints Be Removed?
The main reason why lead based paints were banned from use was because they are poisonous to people. Exposure to lead based paints can result in lead poisoning that can cause brain damage, with serious cases resulting in even death. Small children, especially toddlers, are at the greatest risk of getting poisoned from lead based paints. This can happen if children swallow paint chips, paint dust, or soil that has been contaminated with lead paints, while playing indoors and outdoors.
Symptoms of lead poisoning can include the following symptoms:
• trouble sleeping
• stomach pains
• no appetite
• general weakness
• difficult walking
In fact, while children will commonly show signs of lead poisoning, adults may not have any visible symptoms at all. Also, it is even possible for pets to get lead poisoning, so it is advised to have them also check if anyone in the family has lead poisoning.
Safe Removal of Lead Based Paint
Because removal of lead based paints from residential and commercial properties can cause harm to people, it is required that only those properly trained in the removal and disposal of lead based paints be hired to do it. While lead based paints are not used anymore, many buildings still have this type of paint in them. Even if a building was recently painted, it is possible that the old, underlining paint was lead based.
It is not possible to detect lead based paints by just appearance only, however, there are tests that can detect if paint is hazardous. Basically, if you have a home or building built earlier than 1980, and you want to paint it, it is safe to assume that there could be lead based paint, and you should contact All Districts Coating – experts in lead based paint removal.