Get the Lead Out

…Until we do, we should all be concerned! That’s right, it still hasn’t been eliminated.

Lead is a toxic metal. It can seriously harm our health even at low exposure levels. We usually highlight the risks for children because it effects their brain development, where irreversible damage can occur. Lead exposure wreaks havoc in the brain. Its consequences include lowering IQ and reducing potential for learning in children. It can also adversely effect speech and hearing. In both children and adults, lead can cause gastrointestinal issues, kidney damage, and nervous system damage. 

We should be concerned on Long Island because it is comprised of many beautiful older homes and it could be in the…

Paint

In 1978, the federal government banned consumer usage of lead-containing paint, but if your home was built before then, there is a good chance it still lingers. Lead can be present in paint on walls, ceilings, doors, windows, moldings, staircases, floors, and all other interior and exterior structures. Lead-based paint becomes a concern when it chips, turns into dust, or gets into the soil. If you are thinking about renovating your home, it is always a good idea to test for lead beforehand to be sure you do not create an environmental hazard.

Dust 

Lead dust is the most common way that people are exposed. Inside the home, most lead dust comes from chipping and flaking paint or when paint is scraped, sanded, or disturbed during home remodeling. Watch for chipping and peeling paint, wet mop floors, or use a vacuum with a HEPA filter bag, clean windowsills and furniture with damp cloths often. Also, wash children's hands and toys with soap and water, even if they don't look dirty!

Air

Lead can be present in outdoor and indoor air. Lead in outdoor air comes mainly from industrial sources. Sources of lead in indoor air include outdoor air, suspended dust (as previously described), and some hobbies like making stained glass objects or using solderthat contains lead. Do not allow children to be present if doing such activities. If possible purchase an indoor air purifier for your home. It will protect you from lead in the air and reduce indoor air pollution and irritants.

Water

In older homes and buildings, lead may enter water as a result of the corrosion of plumbing materials containing lead. These materials include lead-based solder used to connect pipes, faucets, and in some cases, pipes made of lead connect homes to water mains. This makes it very important to have water tested at the tap. Whenever possible, use filtered water for drinking and for food preparation. Please consider installing a shower filter as well.

…and Even Costume Jewelry and Toys

Believe it or not, lead is still being found in inexpensive children's jewelry and some toys. You can find product recalls concerning this danger here: https://www.saferproducts.gov/. If you discover lead in toys or any other products, they can also be reported on this website at the following link: https://www.saferproducts.gov/CPSRMSPublic/Incidents/ReportIncident.aspx.

We hope you will take the dangers we have discussed seriously. If you would like professional help, better sooner than later. Lead inspectors are certified to conducta surface-by-surface investigation to determine the location and severity of any lead that may be a hazard in your home environment.

Now that you know lead still lingers, we hope you will look at the above and if you would like professional help contact a lead abatement company.

By Tara Marie Kotliar