We all know lead is a highly toxic metal that can cause severe illness and even death. Unfortunately, over time, fact and myth have merged, resulting in much misinformation about paint poisoning. At M3 Environmental Engineering in Monterey, CA, we want our clients and website visitors to be able to separate fact from fiction. So, we’ve written this article to debunk 7 of the most common lead paint myths.
- Myth #1: It’s Only In Old Homes
- Myth #2: It’s Only Dangerous When Ingested
- Myth #3: Only Children Are Affected By Paint Poisoning
- Myth #4: Lead Paint Poisoning Is Only A Poverty Issue
- Myth #5: It’s No Longer Manufactured Or Used
- Myth #6: Lead Paint Poisoning Is Only A Problem In Big Cities
- Myth #7: You Can Easily Remove This It On Your Own
Myth #1: It’s Only Found In Old Homes
The government banned lead paint for residential use in the United States in 1978. Despite this, it’s still manufactured and sold in dozens of countries worldwide despite the overwhelming evidence regarding its toxicity. In addition, this coating is used abroad for hundreds of so-called “industrial” applications on metal surfaces and similar veneers. Importing products containing older paint into the United States may be illegal, but some items can still slip through customs, putting unsuspecting consumers at risk.
Myth #2: It’s Only Dangerous When Ingested
Most people know that paint is dangerous if eaten, but many don’t realize that just inhaling lead dust can also be poisonous. Even small amounts can be harmful, especially to young children. This material in the dust is easily breathed in and can quickly build up in the body, resulting in poisoning. Therefore, removing any older paint from your home is necessary to prevent exposure.
Myth #3: Only Children Are Affected By Lead Paint Poisoning
While it’s true that children are more susceptible to poisoning, adults can still be affected. Adults working with or living in homes with older paint are at high risk. In addition, adults with conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of lead poisoning.
Myth #4: Lead Paint Poisoning Is Only A Poverty Issue
This paint is regularly found in older homes, which low-income families tend to occupy. That’s probably why this myth has become so prevalent. However, lead poisoning can and does affect people of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Myth #5: It’s No Longer Manufactured Or Used
We’ve already pointed out that the United States government banned this coating for residential use in 1978, but it’s still manufactured and used in other countries. Lead paint is often used in budget products like toys and picture frames because it’s cheaper than many alternatives. Recently, several high-profile cases of lead poisoning from illegally imported products, particularly toys.
Myth #6: Lead Paint Poisoning Is Only A Problem In Big Cities
Lead poisoning has been a problem in some rural areas where old buildings have been renovated without taking proper precautions to remove or contain this paint. So even rural families could be in danger. The best ways to protect yourself and your family from lead poisoning are to get your home tested and follow the EPA’s guidelines for safe lead removal.
Myth #7: You Can Easily Remove Lead Paint On Your Own
This material is a serious health hazard, and only skilled professionals should attempt removal. Attempting DIY paint removal can release harmful toxins into the air and put your family or business associates at risk. That’s why we recommend hiring an environmental consulting firm like M3 Environmental Engineering to test for this material in your home. If found, we can help you identify qualified contractors to do the removal and cleanup safely and effectively.
Central Coast Lead Testing & Inspection Services
Now that we’ve debunked some of the most common myths, it’s important to remember that lead poisoning is still a genuine danger throughout the U.S., including Monterey County. M3 Environmental Engineering provides top-quality lead inspection and testing services for homes and businesses. We want to help you ensure the safety of your family or employees, so call us today to discuss our services and schedule a consultation.