Lead paints were created using white lead pigments, beginning in Colonial times. Use peaked in 1922 as many homes and buildings were painted inside and out. (Interestingly, the League of Nations had banned lead paint the very same year, but the U. S. decided not to follow suit. Not any normal paint will safely cover lead-containing paint. To make sure that the paint, dust, and fumes are carefully controlled, a special type of paint known as an encapsulant must be used. It's applied over the lead-based paint as a sealant to prevent paint chips or dust from being breathed in or escaping. Most homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. In 1978 the federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in housing. Lead can be found inside and outside a house. In the soil around a home, traces of lead will often be found as a result of old paint removal by scraping. Although lead has been banned from household paints in the United States since 1978, paint used in road markings may still contain it. Alternatives such as water-based, lead-free traffic paint are readily available, and many states and federal agencies have changed their purchasing contracts to buy these instead.
On the books, China's paint standards are stricter than those in the United States, requiring that paint intended for household or consumer-product use contain no more than 90 parts of lead per million. But enforcement of the regulations in China is lax.
Lead paint can make your home difficult to sell. Any information you know about the presence of lead-based paint must be disclosed to potential buyers. Though that can turn away some shoppers, lead paint disclosure is required by law.
To really tell if a home has lead-based paint, you're going to need a serious test. “When lead is suspected, inspectors use an X-ray to look through the paint layers to the base wood of the wall. X-rays can't pass through lead, so it is easy to spot, ” says Sisson.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average costs for lead 1 paint "abatement" will range from $8 to $15 per square foot, and the average house can require a minimum of $10, 000 to treat.
Lead-based paint does not present a health hazard as long as the paint is not chipping, flaking, crushed or sanded into dust. High levels of exposure to lead may cause lead poisoning and other issues such as anemia and impaired brain and nervous system functions.
Due to its toxicity, most cities moved away from lead water-supply piping by the 1920s in the United States, although lead pipes were approved by national plumbing codes into the 1980s, and lead was used in plumbing solder for drinking water until it was banned in 1986.
Older Homes and Buildings If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it has lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but some states banned it even earlier. Lead paint is still present in millions of homes, sometimes under layers of newer paint.
How long it takes a child to absorb toxic levels of lead depends on the concentration of lead in the dust. Rosen says that in a typical lead-contaminated housing unit, it takes one to six months for a small child's blood-lead levels to rise to a level of concern.
But lead can and does affect adults, especially after long-term exposure. Lead also poses a threat for unborn babies. If there is lead in the mother's system, it can pass to the fetus and cause premature birth, low birth weight, and brain and nerve damage.
The EPA regulations do not apply to individual homeowners making their own repairs or painting their home. Remember, common renovation activities such as sanding, demolition and cutting can create lead dust by disturbing lead paint.
There is no reason to avoid a home just because of lead paint. The thing you need to be aware of, though, is that any disturbance to old paint layers could be hazardous. If you buy an older home that is in very good shape, you may never have to worry about lead.
Encapsulants are materials that are applied over lead-based paint to seal the paint to a surface and prevent the release of paint chips or dust. The material may be either a liquid or an adhesive. Encapsulation provides a barrier between the paint and the environment. Conventional paint is NOT an encapsulant.
Natural element Lead typically occurs in very small amounts in ores such as galena, anglesite and cerussite. Lead is commonly mined and smelted in Missouri, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Montana and Texas, according to Plumbing Manufacturers International. About one-third of the lead in the United States is recycled.
Lead paint was desirable for centuries due to its brilliant white color, but the adverse effects of lead poisoning only became known in the last century.