6 Easy Tips to Avoid Lead Exposure
Lead is a heavy metal that is naturally found in our environment. Lead poisoning occurs when this metal accumulates in the body for a prolonged period. The substance enters the body through inhalation and ingestion.
Although both children and adults are affected by its toxic effects, children six years old and below have the most adverse reactions to this metal. It can cause brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavior problems, development and growth delays, and hearing and speech impediments. In general, lead also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, and toxicity to the reproductive organs and the immune system.
Although lead poisoning is treatable, most of the damage it can cause is irreversible.
There are no determined safe levels of lead for both children and adults. The best line of defense is to reduce lead exposure.
Here are some ways that you can keep yourself and your family safe from this health threat:
Leave shoes outside
Lead is naturally present in the soil. Sometimes, it can be in high concentrations.
You may not realize it, but you may carrying lead and other bacteria into your living space through your shoes. Avoid tracking lead and all sorts of bacteria by wiping and removing your shoes before entering the house.
Reduce soil exposure
Lead-contaminated soil continues to be one of the most common sources of lead exposure for young kids. Homes near roadways have high amounts of lead in the ground.
Children can be exposed to lead by touching, ingesting, or playing in lead-contaminated soil. To prevent exposure, do not allow children to play with bare soil. Also, remind them to take off their shoes before entering the house.
Wash hands frequently
Generally, lead is present in many household items such as batteries, solder, pipes, pottery, bullets, and roofing materials. Frequent handwashing is essential after touching these things to prevent ingestion.
Don’t forget to wash your hands right away, especially if you did some gardening or tackled some home improvement projects. Take note that even dust may contain lead, especially in older homes. Ensure that children wash their hands frequently, too.
Prevent ingestion from tap water
Lead-smoldered pipes and old pipes where lead can leach through will make drinking water unsafe. It is best to leave the water running for at least five minutes before drinking from the tap for your family’s safety.
Drink only from the cold tap. Warm and boiling water are more likely to contain elevated levels of lead.
Moreover, choose and maintain quality water filters. It should be labeled to meet “NSF/ANSI Standard 53”.
Check items in your household
Some unregulated toys from other countries may be lead-contaminated. This is very toxic to young children who tend to put such items into their mouths.
Specific herbal remedies may contain lead in the concoction. Make sure you know the ingredients of everything you consume and ingest.
The glaze on some pottery may also be contaminated. This can leach into food that we ingest.
Sadly, even cosmetics and jewelry are now contaminated with this toxic substance. Be aware and mindful of things inside the home that can compromise your health.
Be cautious of peeling or chipped paint
Lead used to be present in paints until 1978. If you live in an old house or building, there’s a good chance that they’ve used this kind of paint during construction.
You see, lead-based paint is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning in children. Once it starts chipping, peeling, or cracking, it becomes lead chips and dust.
A child may swallow lead by eating paint chips. This is a health hazard that needs to be addressed immediately.
It can also be good to paint over old paint with a fresh coat. However, it’s not as easy as just splashing new paint over old. It has to be scraped, removed, and painted over. Before doing this, the old paint must be tested for lead first. Otherwise, the workers and your family may be exposed unknowingly.
It is best not to be present during the remodeling process for your safety, especially if you have kids. Use a wet rag when dusting. Ultimately, ensure frequent handwashing.
Employ Lead-Based Paint Testing
If you live in an old house or you’re planning to move into a place built before 1978, you can have us conduct lead-based paint testing to ensure your and your family’s safety.
Keep in mind that the mental and other health damages caused by lead, especially in children, are permanent and irreversible. Make sure that your house is safe to work on and live in.
For your peace of mind, call or request a free quote now at 720-995-7015.