Lead Paint in Homes: A Hidden Danger
If you live in the Northeast and your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance you have lead in the paint of your house. Before the 1978 ban on the use of lead paints, lead was used to speed drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance and resist moisture. For a homeowner looking for the best bang for their buck, a paint with lead in it was the smart choice. But was it? The warning signs have been around for centuries and not heeding them has left many homes in the Northeast with a ticking time bomb hidden under wallpaper and new paints.
The use of lead in paint has been around for a very long time. Lead white can be dated back to the 4th century BC through the pen of ancient Greek author Theophrastus. Medieval texts speak of workmen having apoplexy, paralysis and epilepsy from working with lead white, but that didn’t stop artists before the 19th century from using it to make their paints denser and able to cover a large surface with a small amount. In the beginning of the 20th century Sherwin-Williams reported in their monthly publication that a French expert had deemed lead paint “poisonous in a large degree, both for the workmen and for the inhabitants of a house painted with lead colors.” But it wasn’t until 1978 that U.S. officials placed a ban on paints with lead in them.
In April 2010 the Federal government passed a law requiring that any contractor performing renovations, repairs or painting where lead-based paints are disturbed, must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. These drastic measures has come about because of the many health issues families have reported after renovations, where dust particles from disturbed paint has rested on rugs, furniture, and other interior items, resulting in health problems for families. It can cause permanent damage to children, like nervous system, kidney and brain damage, as well as reduced intelligence and learning disabilities. It is also a danger for fetuses in pregnant women.
If your home was built before 1978 and you’re considering home improvements, contact Window Nation. We offer lead testing services. If lead is found, we employ renovators that are skilled in the removal of these contaminants and that follow the procedures required by the EPA.
Protect your family from lead poisoning. Don’t risk permanent health problems. Stay informed. Stay safe.