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Walls Category: Interior Walls: Drywalls / Wallboards

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How to get rid of lead exposure.

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Lead has long been considered a poisonous metal to humans, and, recently, it has been declared by experts that there is no known safe amount of lead whatsoever.  In this vein, there has been a long-standing effort of eradicating materials/products of lead content.  However, despite the many decades of fighting lead exposure, primarily in the United States, recently there has been a developing fiasco of lead exposure to children through products of China, primarily toys.  This has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take further aggressive actions in an effort to eliminate the importation of such harmful foreign products into the United States.

Lead can be present in the form of many things.  While presently produced paint is prohibited from containing lead, one can still be potentially exposed to lead through long-ago applied lead-based paint found in older housing and other structures; lead dust of such paint can easily be spread about any such structures, through air vents, etc.  Furthermore, some vinyl mini blinds manufactured prior to July 1996 may also contain lead and, thus, be another form of exposure to such a harmful chemical.  What is more, as before noted above, in 2008, China-made toys were found to contain notably high, harmful levels of lead.

The 2008 fiasco heightened people's awareness of lead exposure.  Though there have been home kits on the market for years that help detect lead, more and more of such kits have since become available on the market that have increasingly become better gauges of actual lead existence.  Such lead-detecting home kits for concerned parents and the like can be purchased at virtually any home improvement center, hardware store and department store.  One such follow the manufacturer's instructions in the proper use of such a kit.

Once you discover the existence of lead in your home, a number of things can be done to try to rectify the problem.  Lead-based paint that is peeling may be wallboarded or otherwise entirely covered with joint wall compound as a form of lead containment.  Lead-based paint that is not necessarily peeling can be preserved and contained with the application of a product like shellac.  All precautions should be taken when dealing with lead.  Professionals should get involved, as in all cases, and one should definitely seek the assistance and advice of their local health authority, among other appropriate entities.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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