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Why is Lead in Paint?

We've all heard how dangerous lead can be. However, for many years it has been mixed with paint for very specific reasons. For one, lead assists in the paint drying process. Also, it helps paint retain a fresh look for many, many years. Equally important, lead helps paint resist moisture. At the same time, its usefulness wasn’t just limited to paint.

Throughout history, lead was used in all kinds of different items. For example, it was used in makeup, food, dinnerware, as well as paint. Even though it is incredibly useful, lead is also incredibly dangerous

 

The Dangers of Lead Paint

Lead can wreak havoc on the human body. It can cause serious damage to the nervous system, the kidneys, the brain, and blood cells. Lead is especially dangerous to children. Exposure to the dense metal can stunt their growth and delay development. Because of its sweet taste, many children have become sick due to eating chips of lead paint.

Coming into contact with lead paint is dangerous for adults as well. It can lead to reproductive problems for both men and women. If high levels of lead are allowed to build up in the body, it can result in convulsions, coma, or death.

 

Regulations Around the World

The danger of lead poisoning drove many countries to establish regulations to protect the public. Back in 1976, Canada passed the Hazardous Product Act to limit the use of lead paints and liquid coatings on children's products, household products, and furniture. The act also limited the use of lead-based paints and coatings on buildings (interior and exterior) frequented by children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is an independent government agency, banned certain uses of lead paint in the U.S. in 1977. Because of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, the European Union banned lead paint in 2003. The Hazardous Substances Act of 2009 classified lead as a hazardous substance in South Africa. Going forward, you can expect to see more countries instituting similar regulations.


The professionals at Burns Environmental Services can help you with any lead abatement issues your home may have. Contact our team today!

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