It is said that as many as 64 million properties in the United States contain significant amounts of lead based paint. Due to the fact that paints containing lead were banned in 1978, this means that almost all of these 64 million properties were built in the years prior to that. In fact, it is unlawful to market or sell a property built before 1978 without informing potential buyers of the chances of lead paint being contained within the property. Yet strangely enough, there is no statute that requires this harmful substance to be removed from the property prior to selling. In this article, we will look more closely at the risks to health of lead based paint, as well as the best ways to deal with it.
The Risks Associated with Lead Based Paint
A lot of people are still unaware of the potential health risks associated with exposure to lead paints. Lead paint is only safe when it is left undisturbed or undamaged; however, as soon as it begins to deteriorate or become chipped, it becomes a serious health hazard. Dust particles containing lead can be easily inhaled, and the most worrying part is that you could be breathing it in without even knowing it.
The detection and removal of lead based paint is essential for the continued good health of your family and pets, and this is doubly so if you have small children or babies. This is due to the fact that studies have found that children and babies who have been exposed to high levels of lead can develop signs of lead poisoning, as well as displaying behavioral and learning problems.
Painting Over Lead Paint
How you deal with the problem of lead paint will partly depend on your own specific circumstances, as well as the condition of the paint. If the lead paint is in a good condition, then it is fine painting over lead paint.
To provide an additional layer of protection you might consider sealing the lead-based paint first as this will help to prevent it from future damage. There are number of sealants developed and sold specifically for lead paint such as
If you discover that the lead based paint is damaged or beginning to flake, then it is a good idea to have the paint removed or repaired by a professional due to the health hazards associates with lead-based paint. If you elect to have the lead paint removed you should look for a licensed lead abatement contractor. Repair of lead paint should be done by a Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) licensed contractor.