Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Lead Poisoning: The Ongoing Fight For Our Children

Have we been MISLEAD to believe lead poisoning exposure risks are not as serious as we think? Over 80,000,000 homes were built and painted before lead was banned in the US in 1978. Here is a link to one moms fight to expose the real struggles US families are facing now Mislead-Americas-Secret-Epidemic. This is not just an American problem either paints manufactured in Canada could contain as much as 50% lead by dry weight and they did not restrict the amount of lead added to interior paints until 1976. Even then, the restriction permitted a lead concentration of 5000 parts per million, an amount 8 times as high as the US restriction of 600 parts per million established in 1978. Follow this link for a very informative timeline of lead regulations in Canada and the US Lead Based Paint Problems.

The Truth 

There is NO SAFE LEVEL of lead for small children under 6 and renovations across North America continue to happen without proper lead removal certification causing potentially dangerous lead exposure to everyone in the area. By 1990, a growing body of international research, including US and Canadian research, demonstrated that lead was harmful to children's developing brain and nervous system. Media reports began characterizing lead poisoning as an endemic problem rather than as an isolated concern. By 1991 stories of children who had been poisoned not from eating paint chips, but from ingesting fine particles of dust started to surface. The burning, sanding, and scraping of lead paint produced fine lead particles that clung to surfaces, including children's fingers.

So What Can We Do? 

It may seem hopeless but in reality there are steps you can take to get involved. Renovate right, test surfaces painted prior to 1978 before removal projects start, test kits are easy to use and available at your local hardware store. Here is some more helpful info for your renovation EPA Renovation Guidelines. Taking control of your own renovation projects is a great start to a healthy home. If you see an unsafe removal project in progress report it! Follow this link to report violations in the USA lead-based-paint-complaints-tips-and-violations For more info on lead in Canada follow this link health-canada-reduce-your-exposure Together we can make North America a safer place for our young children! 

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