jjLooks that Unfortunately Last: Lead Paint
An often unforeseen hazard in homes is the existence of lead paint, which is very hazardous to children. Lead is a heavy metal that was commonly used in a variety of household items in the last century. However, studies detailing its toxicity and danger to human health led to laws that prohibited its use in domestic situations. Lead used to even be an additive for gasoline. Today, lead is considered such a hazard that it’s not even used in such once-common items as fishing sinkers. But until it was made illegal to use in paint in the United States in 1978, lead was an important ingredient in paint for several reasons. Lead paint has an extraordinary color, and it’s very useful for protecting areas from corrosion, since lead itself does not react to moisture. However, lead can poison people, and it’s especially harmful to children under the age of six. Lead paint and items with lead dust have a sweet taste, which tempts children to consume them.
Effects of Lead
In heavy doses, lead can be fatal by causing severe liver damage. However, in the cases of most children, they can suffer neurological damage from eating lead that can lead to physical and mental challenges. Lead in a home can be found in houses that were built before 1978. Generally, houses built before 1940 almost certainly have lead paint, or once had it. House from 1940 to the mid-60s have a good chance of having lead paint, but from the mid-60s it was being phased out, and in 1978 it was made illegal. Lead paint can chip off, or children can peel it off of walls. It can also become exposed during renovations in the form of toxic dust. There are safe ways of testing for the presence of lead in the home, and there are also hotlines to call for help with protecting yoru family from lead paint.