Part 1 – Let’s Keep Our Children Safe!
Lead and Human Health
Lead’s toxic effects have been known for over 2000 years; it’s one of the most pervasive and well-studied occupational and environmental toxins.
Lead exposure can cause central nervous system problems, as well as problems in the digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. And those are just a few effects. As one of the oldest known poisons, lead affects the brain in a dizzying number of ways.
A few important facts on lead and health:
- Lead can harm both a pregnant woman AND her developing fetus.
- Lead exposure can cause serious long term health, developmental, and behavior problems for children, even at very low levels.
- Lead is especially a hazard to children under 6 years old. Lead in paint, dust and soil is a problem for children because it gets in their bodies when they put their fingers or toys with lead dust on it into their mouths.
- Lead is considered to be a likely carcinogen.
It’s sad to think – and worse if you discover for sure – that your environment could be hurting you.
You’ve probably heard this before. Yet, many times it is alarmist panic that is not based on suitable science. However, in the case of lead in our environment, there is valid reason to be concerned.
Lead exposure has long been known to be cause serious health problems and there is plenty first-rate science showing this is truly the case.
The good news is any real serious lead exposure is something you can typically prevent in your environment. It is however unfortunate and sometimes criminal when prevention is either ignored, intentionally or unknowingly.
A good way to start if there is any concern is to get a blood lead level test done on children. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be done at the same time as a regular check-up.
If a concerned for a client, colleague, friend or loved one, forward this article link and you’ve done your good dead for them to decide for themselves.
Where Was Lead Found?
Lead was once commonly used in a variety of products, including batteries and gasoline. It’s common that the soil next to older busy streets and highways contains lead contamination (I’ve been involved in several lead contaminated soil removal projects along our local freeways).
Of particular interest is the presence of lead in building paint for many years. This was up until 1978, when its use in paint was banned by the Federal EPA.
Why was it there in the first place?
Lead improves paint durability and helps paint resist moisture. Ironically, lead in paint also provides mildew (i.e., mold) resistance.
I am interested to hear about your experiences regarding lead (mold or other concerns and input is okay too!) – so please leave me your questions, comments and/or experiences in the comment section below…
Watch for part 2 and part 3 of Get the Lead Out!
Part 2 – “Lead into Crime” – The Link between Lead and Criminal Behavior
Part 3 – “Lead into Legal” – Requirements & Responsibilities of Property Managers and Realtors