Lead-Based Paint Detection & Removal—A Safe Painting Job

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The late Kurt Vonnegut stated of the fall of the Romans, “One theory of why they declined and fell is that their plumbing was lead. The root of our word plumbing is plumbum, the Latin word for ‘lead.’ Lead poisoning makes people stupid and lazy. What’s your excuse?”

You’ve heard various rumors on the dangers of lead-based paint. But how do you know if your facility is at risk? Any structure built before 1978 could contain lead-based paint. Both interior and exterior paints have the potential to be lead-based.

Lead-based paint is toxic and can cause permanent brain and nerve damage as well as learning and behavior problems in children. However, the paint is only harmful during the deterioration process. Before starting any painting job, you might want to test for lead. Children are especially susceptible to lead side-effects due to their developing bodies and brains. Clearly, testing your building for any traces of lead paint would be advantageous for the safety of your employees.

So how do you know if your walls are coated in lead-based paint? Here some testing options:

1.Lead-Based Paint Inspection--This is done by a professional using a tool called portable x-ray fluorescence.
2.Risk Assessment-- This is also done by a professional who tests the deteriorating paint and dust particles in a laboratory.
3.Hazard Screen-- This is a less extensive approach and therefore should be used in places that have little risk of lead paint. The assessor collects dust samples and does a risk assessment if there is evidence of paint chips in soil around the home or building.
4.Home Test Kit-- These are less expensive but also less accurate. The EPA recommends testing is conducted by a certified lead inspector or certified lead risk assessor.

Some short-term ways to reduce the effects of lead-based paint during the painting and removing process are cleaning techniques such as keeping dust to a minimum and confining paint chips. A healthy diet and lifestyle also wards off the effects of toxicity. To remove lead completely, use a lead abatement specialist such as Cor-Ray Painting Company, (562) 906-9770, a painting company that has had experience containing and removing lead-based paint, including projects such as the Angels Gate Lighthouse, Eastgate Reservoir and numerous others. For more information about their lead abatement services, you can look here.

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