Lead occurs naturally in the environment and has many industrial uses. However, even small amounts of lead can be hazardous to human health. Everyone is exposed to trace amounts of lead through air, soil, household dust, food, drinking water, and various consumer products.
Although the levels of lead in the environment have decreased significantly since the late 1970’s, exposure to even small amounts of lead can be harmful, especially to infants, young children, and pregnant women. Symptoms of short term exposure to low levels of lead include anemia, appetite loss, abdominal pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, and irritability. Continued excessive exposure, as in an industrial setting, can lead to kidney damage.
Lead dust is especially dangerous to infants and young children, because they tend to put things in their mouths and their breathing zone is closer to the floor level. Lead dust can be generated within homes, especially older homes that use lead-based paint. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has estimated that heavily leaded paint was used in approximately two-thirds of the homes constructed in the United States prior to 1940 and one-half of the homes built from 1940 to 1960. In 1978, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission lowered the use of lead in paint manufactured in this country to 0.06% by weight (a trace amount). In spite of the ban on the use of lead in paint manufactured in this country, the use of lead in products manufactured outside of this country (e.g. furniture, ceramics, and toys) has still not been prohibited by the USEPA.
It is very important to remember that only professionals trained in the hazardous materials removal should remove lead-based paint. Consumers should not attempt to remove lead-based paint. The first step in the elimination of lead-based paint hazards in homes is proper identification of where lead contaminated paint or dust exists.
Micro Air, Inc. offers a complete range of services in the proper identification and elimination of lead-based paint hazards including: