The Homeowner’s Guide to Lead
What is lead?
Lead is a toxic heavy metal that occurs naturally in the earth. Lead has negative health effects on humans when it is ingested through the mouth, inhaled into the lungs, or enters the body through contact with the skin. Some of the most common sources of lead exposure are lead-based paints, treated wood products, and the lead that escapes from aging water pipes.
Why is lead harmful?
Lead exposure can lead to damage to the brain and other vital organs including the kidneys, nerves and blood. Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities and seizures. Children who are poisoned with lead may not show any obvious signs. The World Health Organization estimated that in 2013 lead poisoning resulted in 143,000 deaths and contributed to 600,000 new cases of children suffering with intellectual disabilities.
Should my home be tested for lead?
To insure the health and safety of your family, your home should be tested for lead risks if any of the following are true:
- a child has been diagnosed as having elevated blood lead levels
- small children will be living in a home built before 1978
- planning to remodel or do anything that will disturb lead-based paint
- an activity may generate lead-based paint dust and chips
- buying or renting a home
- there is concern about possible lead exposure to yourself, your family or your pets
What about lead paint?
Lead Paint Inspections
A lead-based paint inspection is a surface-by-surface inspection to determine the presence or absence of lead-based paint. Our licensed and certified Lead Inspectors use the latest technology to test for lead in sources such as paint chips, dust and soil. All physical samples are tested in a laboratory certified in lead analysis.
Lead Paint Risk Assessments
A lead-based paint risk assessment determines if any lead-based paint hazards exist in and around a structure, and will provide solutions for reducing and managing any hazards identified. Our licensed and certified Lead Paint Risk Assessors will create a plan to control the lead-based paint hazards. A remediation contractor will then implement the hazard control plan.
Lead Paint Clearance Testing
Lead clearance testing should be conducted after any repair, renovation or any other activity that disturbs lead-based paint. Our licensed and certified Lead Inspectors will visually inspect the work area and confirm that all lead-related work has been properly completed, and test to confirm that the work space is lead-free and ready for safe occupation. All physical samples are tested in a laboratory certified in lead analysis.
What about lead in water?
Most lead contamination in drinking water comes from lead-containing plumbing materials. As these materials age and corrode, lead can dissolve into the water supply. Our technicians will test your home, business, school or industrial property for the presence of lead in the water supply. All samples are analyzed in a laboratory certified by the United State Environmental Protection Agency.