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Dealing with Lead-Based Paint

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We all love a good home improvement project to update our space and increase the value of our homes, but lead-based paint can throw a wrench into the works. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead-based paint is the number one source for lead exposure in the U.S. Homes built as recently as 1978 could contain lead-based paint on anything from interior walls to soffits to window frames.

Why is lead-based paint such a big deal?

Improper removal (which includes dry scraping, sanding, and open-flame burning) of lead based paint in home improvement efforts can lead to dangerous exposure levels and a number of serious health issues. Exposure to lead, even low levels, affects various systems and body parts including the central nervous system, blood cells, brain, and kidneys, and higher levels of exposure can be deadly. Lead based paint can be especially damaging to children. Exposure disproportionately affects children who are more likely to pick up lead dust during play and whose bodies absorb the lead more rapidly due to growth.

How can you safely remove lead-based paint?

If you think your home contains lead-based paint, do not remove it yourself. Removal specialists with training and experience will effectively and safely take care of the paint. The EPA provides a list of firms certified to perform lead-based paint removal in the state of South Dakota.

During the removal process, you will want to relocate temporarily until the work is done and your home has been cleaned up. This is especially important for women who are pregnant and children.

If you are aware of the presence of lead-based paint in your home and waiting for a scheduled removal, minimize risk of lead exposure. Keep the space clean and dust-free to the best of your ability. If you have non-carpeted floors, mop regularly. Before removal, section spaces where lead is present off from the rest of the house to prevent the spread of dust.

Not sure if the paint in your house contains lead?

There are home kits to test the lead levels in your paint, but kits don’t always pick up on small amounts of lead (which can still be harmful). To know for certain, call an expert from the EPA’s list of certified professionals.

For more information on lead-based paint, visit the EPA’s website or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

Always exercise caution and safety when tackling home improvement projects. It’s important to know risks related to the materials used in your home, as well as the process for the project at hand. Start by using the right tools for the job and knowing how to properly and safely operate them. Contact the experts at Time Equipment to prepare for your next home improvement project today!

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