Lead paint is a kind of paint which contains lead compound. Lead are commonly used as pigment in paint in the form of: lead(II) chromate (PbCrO4, “chrome yellow”), Lead(II,IV) oxide, (Pb3O4, “red lead”), and lead(II) carbonate (PbCO3, “white lead”) to speed up drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion. Lead is one of the main health and environmental hazards associated with paint. Although lead has been banned from household paints in the United States since 1978, paint used in road markings may still contain it and old buildings built before 1978 also contains it.
Health effect of Lead paint
Lead paint is hazardous to human health. Anyone can be dangerously affected by exposure to lead, children under age 6 are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, for several reasons. It can cause nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney damage, and delayed development. It is dangerous to children because it tastes sweet, therefore encouraging children to put lead chips and toys with lead dust in their mouths. Lead paint is also dangerous to adults and can cause reproductive problems in men or women. Decreases in sperm production in men have been noted. Lead is considered a possible and likely carcinogen. High levels may result in death.
Lead also poses a threat for unborn babies. If there is lead in the mother’s system, it can pass to the fetus and cause premature birth, low birth weight, and brain and nerve damage.
As long as lead paint is in good condition, and the surface hasn’t been broken, the paint doesn’t pose a serious health threat. The problem comes when the lead paint starts deteriorating, when lead dust and flakes of lead paint begin accumulating on surfaces such as window sills, counter tops, and floors, as well as on children’s toys, clothes, and bedding. It can also contaminate soil around the house.
Symptoms of lead poisoning from Lead paint
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Premature birth
- Unexplained weight loss
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Mood disorders
- Low sperm count
- Fertility problems in both men and women
- Hearing and vision loss
- High blood pressure
- Kidney damage
- Memory and concentration problems
- Muscle and joint pain
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Kidney damage
- Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
- Slowed growth
- Hearing problems
- Bone marrow problems
Lead diagnosis Measures
- Blood lead test
- Urinary Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA) assessment
- X Ray
- Bone Marrow Biopsy
Lead Poisoning Blood Test
These are two major indicators of possible lead poisoning, the blood lead test, and the urinary aminolevulinic acid (ALA) test.
The simplest way to see if those at risk in your family have been affected by lead in paint containing lead is to have a blood lead test.
There is no safe blood level of lead. However, a level of 5 mcg/dL is used to indicate a possibly unsafe level for children. Children whose blood tests at those levels should be tested periodically. A child whose levels become too high — generally 45 mcg/dL or higher — should be treated.
How to test for lead in your home (DIY lead test)
The link below gives an insight on the steps to carry out lead test in our homes. (Here)