If your anything like you me, you’re a lover of anything made at the turn of the 20th century. The brink buildings, old hardwood floors, unique interiors, and funky layouts. There is an aesthetic charm to these homes that give the impression of being transported to another era. One of things to be cautious about when living in historic homes is the risk of being exposed to lead. Lead is one of the most dangerous pollutant, there are many ways a person can be exposed to lead; through the air, drinking water, food, contaminated soil, deteriorating paint and dust. Prior to 1991 lead was especially used in household paints and water pipes. But the most common and least obvious way a person can be exposed is through air borne contamination, like dust. Dust is everywhere and in some ways a silent killer, a person can just be breathing the air in their home and little do they know their being poisoned by tiny particles of lead. Older homes built prior to 1991, are more likely to have lead based products in them. Especially in the paint used to paint the interiors of the buildings. According to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, oil lead based paint is the most significant source of lead exposure in the US today.
Lead affects all systems within the body. High levels of lead exposure can cause convulsions, coma and even in some cases death. Low levels of lead exposure can affect the nervous system, kidney and blood cells, and it can impair your mental and physical development. Young child and infants the risk of lead exposure can be even more sever, resulting in lower IQs and behavioral problems. Children and infants are more at risk at being exposed because of their size and they are more likely to put lead contaminated object in their mouths.
Some of the ways you can reduced lead exposure is keep your living area clean and dust free. Mop and dust as often as possible. If you become aware that your interior space has been painted with lead based paint do not sand or burn off the paint and never remove lead based paint by yourself. If you’ve been exposed to lead dust, do not bring it into the house, clean your clothes and use dust mats before entering your home. If you do notice areas that could be potential danger keep your children away from it. Frequently wash toys, bottles and pacifiers. Children are 70% more likely to be exposed. Also it helps to keep a balanced diet of iron and calcium.
So when you’re looking for your forever Victorian or mid-century home, be aware of your interior space. Look at the walls and floors and check for areas that might have interior decay. And more importantly ask questions, especially if you have young children. You may be living with lead and not even know it. Be consciousness!!!
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