Lead is more dangerous to children because: Babies and young children often put their hands and other objects in their mouths. These objects can have lead dust on them. Children’s growing bodies absorb more lead. Children’s brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.
Lead-based paint has been banned since 1978, but many older structures still have this paint on walls, woodwork, siding, windows, and doors. Construction and demolition workers can be exposed to lead contamination by cutting, scraping, sanding, heating, burning, or blasting lead-based paint from building components, metal bridges and metal storage tanks. In addition to exposure to workers, lead-based paint debris or dust can also make its way into soil, potentially contaminating surface waters. Lead poisoning is a serious health threat for adults and is especially damaging to young children.
If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from: Damage to the brain and nervous system Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity, Slowed growth, Hearing problems, and Headaches.
You can get your home checked in one of two ways, or both A paint inspection tells you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home. It won’t tell you whether the paint is a hazard or how you should deal with it. A risk assessment tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure (such as peeling paint and lead dust). It also tells you what actions to take to address these hazards.
In art, lead white is known as flake white, also sometimes known as Cremnitz white. Flake white is traditionally considered to be the most structurally sound underpainting layer for oil painting, possessing a combination of flexibility, toughness, and permanence not found in other paints, and certainly not in the other white pigments. Genuine flake white is difficult for artists to obtain in many countries, even though other toxic paints (such as the cadmium-based colors) may be readily available. Where flake white is currently available to artists, it is usually only in small tubes designed for painting, not in the larger cans traditionally used for underpainting (coating the canvas prior to the actual painting) which for centuries was flake white’s most important purpose.
Lead-based paint on the exterior of structures weathers to give flakes and powder. The degraded paint particles accumulate in the soil near the structure. Lead-based paint used on interior surfaces can also degrade to produce lead-containing dust. Sanding coatings prior to repainting generates lead dust. Sanding the exterior of a structure without proper equipment can cause lead contamination inside the structure.
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