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What Is Lead – Based Paint?

  • Federal standards define lead-based paint as:
    • Any paint or surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 milligram per square centimeter or more than 0.5 percent by weight.
    • Some states and localities regulate paint with lower concentration of lead.
    • It is the primary source of lead-contaminated dust in housing.
  • Why is lead used in paint?
    • Lead was added for color and durability.
  • Lead-based paint was banned in 1978.

Health Risks of Lead

  • Very hazardous to children.
    • Damages the brain and central nervous system; can cause decreased intelligence, reading and learning difficulties, behavioral problems, and hyperactivity.
    • Damage can be irreversible, affecting children throughout their lives.
  • Hazardous to pregnant women.
    • Damage to the fetus
  • Also hazardous to workers and other adults.
    • High blood pressure.
    • Loss of sex drive and / or capability.
    • Physical fatigue.

Symptoms Of Lead Poisoning are Not Always Obvious

  • Symptoms are easily misinterpreted by medical personnel, thus delaying effective treatment and increasing the likelihood of permanent physical and mental damage.
  • Only sure way to determine lead poisoning is to take a blood lead level (BLL) test.

Why are Dust and Debris a Problem?

  • Renovation activities that disturb lead-based paint create dust and debris. Debris becomes dust.
  • Lead-contaminated dust is poisonous.
  • Very small amounts of lead-contaminated dust can poison children and adults.
    • Children swallow dust during ordinary play activities.

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