When you buy an older home one of the hazards is lead paint. Lead-based paint was widely used prior to its ban by the EPA in 1978.
Lead is a heavy metal that is toxic to bones, the heart, liver, kidneys, and the nervous and reproductive systems, as well as other tissues and organs. It is particularly toxic in children, and can cause permanent learning and behavior disorders. This is why lead paint abatement is crucial for anywhere kids might be.
How is lead paint abatement done?
Some states and local governments require specialized techniques and possibly licensed contractors to perform lead paint abatement. The process of permanently removing all lead paint and its hazards can be an involved one. It is especially important that precautions be taken in order to minimize contamination.
Though the process can be complicated, costly and hazardous, there are a number of tried and true methods that are available.
These are four of the methods employed for lead paint abatement.
1). Enclosure. This simple method involves the covering of the lead paint with flexible wall coverings of some sort. This process is best for flat, frictionless surfaces.
2). Paint Removal. This process can be performed on or off-site. On-site removal is best done by professionals, because is creates a lot of toxic debris.
3). Replacement. This process involves removing an object and completely replacing it. This process is ideal for doors and windows.
4). Encapsulation. This method uses a special coating to cover and seal the paint. It is a thorough and relatively inexpensive method, but not good for any surface that may be exposed to friction.
Lead Paint Abatement Safety
The process of lead paint abatement requires careful precautions. If you are doing this work yourself it is important that you wear proper protective gear, such as goggles, disposable gloves and coveralls, shoe coverings and a HEPA respirator. The danger of lead poisoning is something not to be messed with.
Clean-up following lead paint abatement needs to be thorough. Any surface that has been cleared of lead paint needs to be thoroughly washed with detergent, and all resulting waste should be disposed of in a thick plastic bag and sealed with duct tape. Any sponges and cloths used in clean-up should be disposed of.
It is best to spend as little time in a space undergoing lead paint abatement as possible. Because of the high levels of toxicity in lead, it is good to contain the area undergoing abatement as thoroughly as possible.
Proper disposal of any lead-based waste is crucial. Municipalities around the country have different regulations for lead-based waste disposal. Not all landfills accept lead waste. It is also very important to make certain while transporting any lead paint abatement waste that it is completely sealed, so as to avoid contamination.
If you suspect that your home has lead hazards, take immediate steps to reduce your families or the homeowner’s risks by purchasing Environmental Innovative Technologies’ do-it-yourself lead testing kits.
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