As one of the major sources of lead poisoning, lead-based paint is a cause of concern, especially in older homes with children. Lead-based paint can be found in approximately three-quarter of the nation's 64 million dwellings. If not detected early, high levels of lead in the body can be very harmful. Children are particularly vulnerable to its effects – lead has been shown to cause behavioral problems, slowed growth, headaches and even permanent brain, nerve and kidney damage. Adults can develop high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems and muscle and joint pain from lead poisoning.
Lead-based paint that is in good condition is usually not a hazard. Peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking lead-based paint, however, poses a serious threat, particularly to babies and young children who like to put their hands and other objects in their mouths. Inhaling lead dust, which you can't necessarily see, is another way you can be exposed to lead poisoning.
Lead dust can form when lead-based paint is dry-scraped, dry sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can reenter the air when people vacuum, sweep, or walk through it.
Federal efforts have been aimed at raising public awareness to help families protect themselves. The Lead Disclosure Rule went into effect December 1996 requiring property owners to provide test results pertaining to lead-based paint or the hazard of lead-based paint to purchasers or tenants.
The first step to protect your family from lead poisoning is to have a professional test your home. Qualified and accredited inspectors use state-of-the-art equipment to effectively and accurately determine the presence of lead-based paint. The best overall method for testing paint on-site is the XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) method because it allows for extensive testing quickly. Defining the exact areas and concentration of leaded paint requires extensive testing to be accurate. It takes only a very small area (less that 1 square inch) of paint film on homes built before 1978 to cause unwanted health effects in some people. Such concentrations occur randomly throughout a typical home. Testing one or two, even six to ten spots on some walls may not be enough to locate and identify the area of concentration. The typical pre-1978 home should be tested in 125-175 different locations to achieve reliable results.
The inspector will make a visual inspection of your property first and then perform a lead screening survey with XRF equipment to determine the location of lead paint. Using high speed state-of-the-art testing instruments, he can perform 125-175 tests in just a few hours. When it comes to the personal welfare of your loved ones, rely on the professionalism that The Building Inspector of America can offer you. Call us today for further information.