Why Lead Should Be Removed
Lead paint can be hazardous. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs. It may also cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and other health issues. That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enacted laws in 2010 to prevent contamination from lead-based paints.
Exposure to lead is most common in buildings built before 1950 (when paint contained up to 50% lead) and built before 1978. Simple testing and risk assessments will determine the presence of lead-based paint.
If lead-based paint in your home is in good condition (no chipping or other damage) and no children under the age of 6 live there or visit regularly, you may safely opt to leave the paint untouched. Although, you will need to disclose the presence of the lead paint if you decide to sell.
If you have lead-based paint present or exposed, you have several options for removal. For instance, in the state of Maine, a federal rule requires contractors to do lead-safe renovations in homes and daycares built before 1978. A contractor who is EPA certified in lead paint removal will be trained to do the job safely and determine the best abatement strategy.
Lead in Old Buildings: Are You At Risk?
A lead hazard is considered any condition that may cause exposure to lead:
- lead-contaminated dust
- lead-contaminated soil
- lead-contaminated water
- lead-based paint that is in poor condition
Many state regulations define the paint conditions and amounts of lead in dust, soil, and water that constitute a lead hazard. So it’s possible to have lead paint in a home without it being a lead hazard.
If paint is peeling or chipping, or if intact lead-based paint is on window sills and stair rails and children under 6 years old are present, you are at risk for lead exposure and need to have it safely removed.
Forbidden removal methods include:
- Open flame burning or torching.
- Machine sanding without a HEPA attachment.
- Abrasive blasting.
- Power washing (without a means to trap water and paint chips).
Why Hire an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Contractor
Octagon Cleaning & Restoration provides lead removal for residential and commercial properties by trained and accredited lead professionals. We understand that having a potential lead hazard in your home or workplace can be scary. Our team is trained in lead removal and abatement protocols and will know what to look for and make the environment you work or live in a safe place to be.