Today, numerous nations have passed laws requiring businesses to undertake lead abatement under some circumstances. In past decades, manufacturers used lead ina myriad of products, including exterior and interior paint, household pipes, ceramic plates and vases, ammunition, batteries and even cosmetics. Today the toxic effects of this element on humans and animals have become well known and documented.
Manufacturers of many products have had to locate alternative substances to use as ingredients instead of lead, due to the toxic impact of lead on living creatures. Yet well-publicized cases of harm caused by lead seeping into public water supplies continue to create justified concern. For instance, Flint, Michigan and Galesburg, Illinois both recently discovered unacceptable levels of lead in aging water pipes.
The Impact of Lead Poisoning
Many people associate lead as a natural element found in the environment. Unfortunately, if a human or animal consumes lead, this natural substance can prove highly toxic. Just consider some of the hazards of lead poisoning:
- Lead may accumulate in the bones of pregnant women and enter a fetus, causing birth defects, miscarriages or premature births;
- Children subjected to high levels of lead may develop slow growth, reduced IQ levels, and hyperactivity;
- Hearing problems and anemia also result from exposure to high lead levels;
- Lead sometimes impairs kidney functioning;
- Lead potentially produces reproductive problems;
- Lead also may contribute to high blood pressure.
Three Key Facts
1. In the United States, since March 1, 2000 only someone trained and certified by a State or the Environmental Protection Agency can conduct lead-paint abatement programs.
2. Lead may occur in especially high levels around sites where workers have engaged in mining activities, including places where ore refining or smelting occurred.
3. Since in the past, most paint manufacturers used lead extensively in their product lines, large numbers of dwellings in the USA built prior to 1978 still contain lead paint residues. Today, federal laws require that home sellers fully disclose the existence of lead paint and its toxic effects. Additionally, buyers must receive a 10-day period to inspect the home for lead-based paint in advance of a sales transaction, unless both the buyer and seller agree to reduce that time frame in writing.
Conduct Research First
Carefully conducting research about the process of lead abatement before hiring anyone to undertake this important assignment saves both companies and home sellers time, money and costly delays. The hazards of lead poisoning in some locations make lead abatement very important.