A Homeowner’s Guide To Understanding Lead Paint Dangers

If you happen to live in a home that was built before the 1970s, there is a possibility it contains lead paint as it was the more commonly used house paint before that time. As the lead paint on the walls in your home ages, it will start to crumble and chip. Unfortunately, lead paint crumbs, chips, and dust increases your exposure to lead poisoning. This is why it is important to understand the dangers of lead paint.

Why is Lead Paint Such a Problem?

Lead is toxic member of the metal family that should never be inhaled or ingested. If lead paint is in good condition and does not contain any chips or cracks, it is not going to cause any harm. It is not until the paint starts to age and deteriorate that a homeowner has a problem. This is assuming you have no small hands in your home who pick at the wall. Lead paint can be scary because all it takes is for a child to pick a piece off the wall and eat it to be at risk for lead poisoning.

Why is Lead Poisoning More of a Problem For Children?

It is a common misconception that you only need to worry about having lead paint if you have small children in your home or you are pregnant. But it is dangerous for anyone to be exposed to lead poisoning. Small children, however, are at a higher risk for several different reasons.

The first reason why children are at a higher risk is because they are more likely to put the lead dust and chips in their mouths. This makes them much more likely to consume enough of the lead to develop lead poisoning. Furthermore, a child's growing body is always going to absorb more lead than an already developed adult body would.

Since a fetus is still growing and developing inside his or her mommy's tummy, this also puts the fetus at a higher risk of health problems caused by lead. If there is enough lead in a pregnant mother's system, it can cause nerve damage, brain damage, premature birth, and low birth weight.

Headaches, hearing problems, learning problems, stunted growth, and bone marrow problems are a few of the more common health problems associated with lead exposure.

If you live in an older home, it would be in the best interest of you and your family to have the home tested for lead by a professional, like those at Colfax Corporation. If the home does contain lead, you should stay somewhere else until you can get the lead removed from the home.