Lead is a common substance found in many homes, construction sites, and different everyday materials like water and paint. Unfortunately it can be incredibly toxic and dangerous if consumed, so here is everything you need to know about lead poisoning, prevention and safety.
What exactly is lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning is when a human ingests too much of this toxic metal. There is no safe level of lead in the body, but small amounts can build up in the body and cause potentially fatal effects. Young children and construction workers who work in older buildings are the most susceptible to the buildup of lead.
Where does lead come from?
There have been multiple federal regulations limiting lead in everyday objects since the 1970s. But lead can still be found in the following:
Lead based paint. This is extremely popular in homes that were built before 1978.
Soil contaminated by lead based gasoline. Gasoline with lead was filtered out in the 1990s, but some areas that were home to different gasoline spills include those near factories and major roadways.
Imported food cans with lead solder. The federal government cut down on lead in metal cans, but some cans from other countries may still contain it. These cans typically have very wide seams.
The water and air supply. An example of this is the recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
How can I protect others from lead poisoning?
To lead proof your home you should:
1. Regularly clean surfaces that are coated with paint.
2. Keep your children away from large chips of paint, chipped areas such as windowsills and door frames, and sweep up any dust as it may contain lead fragments.
3. Get your home tested for lead, and if your home is found to have any remove it immediately.
If you own a business that puts workers in potential contact with lead, make sure to follow these steps:
1. It is important to educate your employees as much as possible. Lead certification courses trained by EPA lead certified instructors is the best way to ensure they are acting properly in the different environments they are in. This includes lead inspector training, lead renovator certification, and EPA lead certification. Lead certification courses are available both online and in person, offering a convenient approach to every employee’s situation.
2. If your employees have already gone through training, make sure they properly renew their training so they always stay up to date.