Chances are, the home you live in now was built before 1978. If so, go have a latte and enjoy your day. However, if you live in an older home or know anyone who does then these next few paragraphs you will want to read very carefully.
Lead paint for interior and exterior uses was common in the U.S. up until the federal government restricted the use for households in 1978 so your house may have lead paint lurking on your walls behind wallpaper or other coats of paint. If it’s there and covered up you are safe… for now. If you plan on renovating or scraping out your walls for a new coat of paint then this will become an issue.
It only takes ingestion of a piece of lead paint the size of a postage stamp to get lead poisoning. Symptoms of lead poisoning include:
- abdominal pain
- abdominal cramps
- aggressive behavior
- sleep problems
- loss of developmental skills in children
- loss of appetite
- high blood pressure
- numbness or tingling in the extremities
- memory loss
- kidney dysfunction
Children are extremely sensitive to lead and exposure can include:
- behavior problems
- low IQ
- poor grades at school
- problems with hearing
- short- and long-term learning difficulties
- growth delays
Lead poisoning can lead to fatalities.
There is a way to be safe, especially if you are going to be doing renovating. Lead paint test kits are available, cheap, and easy to use. They will let you know if you have lead paint in any area you are renovating. You may then take necessary steps to protect yourself and your family during the process.