According to a report by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban development, painted surfaces in houses built before the 1970s may emit lead while 74% of private houses built before 1980 have lead somewhere on their surfaces.
Short term or long-term exposure to lead could pose serious health issues for both adults and children. This article is going to take you through some of the precautions you can take to safeguard your home from lead exposure.
1. Clean Regularly
A good cleaning can remove quite a large amount of lead dust from your home. Have the windowsills, floors and the entrance wet mopped regularly, this will remove any dust and paint chips that may contain lead.
Make sure you thoroughly wash the sponge or whatever you used after cleaning. You should, however, take note that during cleaning, any activity or equipment that is going to wear down the painted surfaces should be avoided. Some types of equipment to avoid include, steel wool, hard brushes, abrasive cleaners and vacuum beater bars. You should also clean any kids toys regularly, especially teething toys.
2. Test Your Home
If your home was built before 1978, it is best to assume that it may have some lead on the walls, floors and other surfaces. Even the soil in the yard could have some lead. You can contact one of the many lead inspectors available to analyze and test the dust on your floor and other surfaces.
If they find any source of lead, they are going to find a way of getting rid of it. However, you should make sure the inspectors you hire are certified. There are various lead certifications available, but inspectors with ZOTApro certifications are the most thorough and effective in their work.
3. Watch Your Diet and Hygiene
You should try as much as possible to stay away from fatty foods as they are known to increase lead absorption. You can minimize lead absorption by eating nutritious foods, especially ones containing iron and calcium.
On the hygiene part, you should develop a habit of washing your hands and face. Do this as often as possible especially after doing any handy work and before and after meals. This will get rid of any dust before it contaminates you. You should also clean your clothes often and never put on dirty ones.
4. Cover Any Painted Surfaces
If you suspect to have lead-based paint on any surface of your home you can reduce exposure by panelling or just covering it up with a wallpaper. This will prevent any breakaway paint and dust from being blown around the house and you would have almost completely reduced exposure through inhalation.
5. Get Rid of Old Carpets
People living in older homes are advised to remove all carpeting especially if it has been down for a while. This is because paint chips and dust containing lead can be hidden in the fur which poses great danger as days go by.
Deteriorating lead paint produces dangerous lead levels in the house and exposure would lead to lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can affect the brain, nervous system and even damage the reproductive system. However, this is preventable if you take the necessary precautions.