Dangers of Lead-Based Paint 

Lead was once commonly used in many products, from makeup and children's toy soldiers to paint. Today, you are most likely to be exposed to lead through paint. Although lead-based paint is now illegal in the United States and Canada, it wasn't until 1978 that it was banned, and many older homes still have traces of the toxic paint.

The dangers of lead are well-documented today. Exposure to lead through paint happens when the paint chips or flakes off of walls, travels through the air, and is swallowed. Even this small amount of exposure can be harmful, especially to children who are still developing, since it targets the nervous system and has been known to cause developmental problems and behavior issues. It can also be extremely dangerous for pregnant women and can lead to miscarriages and premature births. When lead paint is sanded down, the increased exposure can cause lead poisoning which has many symptoms that include joint pain, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, headache, irritability, and memory loss.

How to Deal with Lead-Based Paint

If you find out that you have lead-based paint in your house, you should take steps to ensure your safety and the safety of your family. You should not chip or sand the paint, and you should make sure that it isn't where children could reach it. You can live relatively safely with lead-based paint as long as it isn't floating through the air and you aren't constantly in contact with it, but in many old houses, the paint is old and starts to come off of the walls, and that is when it becomes a real danger. Ideally, you should have it removed as soon as possible.

Lead-Based Paint Removal 

Trying to remove lead-based paint by yourself is extremely risky and it is best to hire professionals to do the job for you. When you hire a company, there are a few options for lead-based paint removal.

Encapsulation: Encapsulation is probably the easiest method for protecting yourself against lead poisoning from your paint. Your contractor will cover the lead-based paint with a special paint that safely "encapsulates" the paint, so it won't chip and get into the air. 

Removal: This option uses chemical paint removers, wire brushes, or sanders to remove the paint while simultaneously sucking up the dust and chips. This method completely removes the lead-based paint. 

Enclosure: With this option, your contractor will cover surfaces with new wallpaper, drywall, or other coverings.

You can discuss what lead-based paint removal option works best for your home and your budget with your lead-based paint removal service, and they can give you recommendations. Whatever you decide, being safe in your own home is worth the cost and effort.

For more information, contact a lead-based paint removal service in your area.