Exposure to lead can be very dangerous, especially for young children and pregnant women. If your home was built before 1978, it may have lead based paint inside and on the exterior. It is very important to protect your family from lead exposure if you live in an older home. Use the following tips to keep your family safe:
If you live in an older home, it is in your best interest to hire a professional firm to do a lead test. Lead testing is typically done on the paint in your home, as well as the soil surrounding your house. If lead is found in the soil outside in your yard, avoid having your children play in those areas. It is also a good idea to have your home's pipes checked to see if they are made of lead.
Regularly Inspect Your House
Having lead-based paint in your house does not mean that you need to pack up and move, but you do need to be diligent in order to prevent lead exposure. Get in the routine of regularly inspecting your house for any signs of chipping or cracking paint, and take care of the problem promptly. When repairing deteriorated paint, always wear a mask, and try to sand the area as little as possible to help prevent lead dust from getting in the air.
Cleaning Painted Surfaces
When cleaning painted walls, window sills, door frames, or stair banisters, use a damp paper towel and an all-purpose cleaner. The paper towels should be disposed of after use-- avoid using cloths or rags that you plan to re-use to clean painted surfaces that have lead-based paint. Never use steel wool or abrasive cleaners that can cause the paint to chip or crack.
An important step in minimizing exposure to lead in a home with lead-based paint is controlling the amount of dust in the home, especially if the soil surrounding your house has tested positive for high levels of lead. Use a damp mop on smooth flooring regularly to remove all dust from the floor. Make sure you vacuum regularly and dispose of the contents of the vacuum bag or canister after you finish the chore. It is a good idea to use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. You may also want to consider running several air purifiers inside your home to improve air quality.