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Lead Paint Removal: Frequently Asked Questions

There are many questions revolving around lead paint. Many people think of lead paint as an old, Great Depression era problem. Consider this: Most Tuscaloosa apartments, businesses, homes, and schools built prior to 1978 are likely to contain lead paint on the inside or outside. If this is the case, lead paint is an issue not to be taken lightly. So, take a look at these answers to common questions surrounding lead paint removal.

Why is Lead-Based Paint Harmful?

lead paint removalLead is a toxic metal that can lead to major health problems if it is consumed or inhaled for extended periods of time. Lead paint is common in homes built before 1978 (the year it was restricted by federal regulations).

If lead paint is left in its original condition—without any cracks or deterioration—it’s relatively harmless. However, since lead paint is typically older, the broken surfaces of lead paint release toxins in the air. When the lead dust starts to accumulate on toys, walls, windows, counters, and beds, it can contaminate the entire house.

How can I detect lead Paint?

Although many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint, not all do. The older your house is, the more likely it contains lead-based paint. The easiest way to determine if your home has lead paint is to conduct a professional inspection. Since lead-based paint is a major health hazard, it is worth taking basic precautions to avoid exposure to lead.

Although do-it-yourself inspections are possible, they can yield mixed results. The Environmental Protection Agency strongly recommends that lead paint testing be done by a certified professional.

How do I know if I have lead poisoning?

Sometimes there are little to no symptoms of lead poisoning, so the only reliable way is to have your blood tested. Children at risk should be tested for poisoning at age 1 and again at age 2. This can prevent issues like fatigue, crankiness, stomach problems, seizures, and reproductive problems that lead paint can cause.

Is lead paint only dangerous to children?

No. Individuals of all ages are at risk for poisoning. However, children and pregnant women are more susceptible than adults. Approximately 1 million children today are affected by lead poisoning. Schools that are built before 1978 have a likely possibility of being affected and should be tested by a professional to obtain accurate results.

Why should I hire a professional?

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is no time-proven way to safely remove paint on a DIY basis. An attempt to do so may release fumes from the paint, causing lead dust to settle on commonly-used surfaces.

Professionals, like the ones at Capstone Environmental, are trained to be extremely cautious in the removal process. The chain of steps necessary to successfully remove lead paint involves removing furniture, sealing off the affected room, wearing respirators for safety, abstaining from food or drink in the room, disposing worn clothes in some cases, and thoroughly cleaning with specialized material.

If you suspect lead-based paint in your home, give us a call! DIY lead paint removal in Tuscaloosa can be dangerous and is highly discouraged by other professionals and government agencies. The safety of you and your family is worth the extra attention.

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