What To Expect: Lead-based paint Abatement


Table of Contents

Common Lead Contamination Sources

Lead contamination can be found in a variety of settings, however it is most commonly found in paint manufactured prior to 1978 when such materials were banned for public use. Older homes and buildings are especially prone to such hazards due to the presence of lead-based paints which can flake off walls or generate dust particles from friction between objects like doors and windows. Soil around structures may also contain particles of lead which could be tracked into the home inadvertently by individuals living within the premises.

Plumbing fixtures may also be a source of lead contamination due to certain components being made with lead-containing materials including solder, taps, pipes, valves and other related items. Lead contamination has been detected within drinking water systems due to corrosion of old pipes that contain trace amounts can accumulate over time and cause health issues. When found, the entire piping system needs to be removed and replaced by trained professionals. 

In child care centers, a professional assessment should always take place before any operations begin. California passed a law – AB 2370 – requiring extensive and correct water testing of all drinking and cooking water for children. Whether or not the law requires a child facility to test, this should be done to protect children. Often the brain damage done by lead is irreversable.

In adults, lead can cause damage to all the organs of the body, especially kidneys. In cases where pregnant women are exposed to high levels of lead, it has the ability to pass through the placenta and cause damage to the unborn baby’s development.

Before 1978, lead was common in all paints, as it added longevity to the applied paint. Lead was banned in paint in 1978, however, some contractors were still using lead paint from their warehouses as late as 1995. Older building will ofter contain one layer or more of lead-based paint inside or out. The dust created by friction points and falls as dust to the floor below doors and door frame, as well as window sills is sweet. Children crawling on floors or next to window sills quickly learn to lick the dust from their hands. That is why it is so important to mitigate the risks of children ingesting lead dust.

This means that older homes or buildings may still contain lead-based paint which poses a risk if not properly managed or removed from the premises. Aside from paint, other sources of lead contamination could be through dust particles generated by friction between objects like doors or windows; soil around structures; plumbing fixtures such as pipes and taps; even certain industrial workplaces where metals are smelted or processed with potentially hazardous materials present such as residue build up.

Once a source of lead contamination has been identified, professional assessment including testing services should take place as soon as possible so that licensed, trained personnel can begin abatement of risks safely. Without professional intervention, individuals living inside such structures could continue being exposed to hazardous concentrations of lead particles thereby jeopardizing their health and wellbeing significantly over time which makes it a very serious issue indeed.

Lead Cleanup Protocols

Lead abatement protocols should be considered in any situation where a potential risk of lead contamination poses an immediate health threat. It is important to consult with professional personnel trained in lead remediation prior to attempting any removal activities, since proper safety measures must always be followed in order to minimize risks during the process.

In some cases, covering up the affected area with lead-safe products may help mitigate any further exposure, however this does not necessarily remove the source of pollution itself. Depending on the source of contamination and its severity, certain types of protective equipment may also have to be worn by those performing abatement procedures such as face masks, gloves, and even respirators.

Before any lead abatement activities take place, it is important to identify any potential hazards in the affected area and take appropriate safety measures in order to minimize risks during the process. These may include wearing protective equipment such as face masks, respirators, gloves, goggles, and other items that meet relevant requirements from OSHA or similar agencies depending on the jurisdiction in question.

It is also important to remember that noise levels should be monitored throughout any abatement activities due to its potential effect on nearby individuals or animals living within earshot of the process. Any electrical devices used alike must be properly grounded at all times in order to avoid accidental electrocution during removal. Finally, it is essential that only trained professional personnel perform these operations in order to ensure proper safety procedures are followed at all times. This would should not be performed by General Contractors; they do not have the training, licenses, or equipment to successfuly perform lead abatement.

Post Lead Abatement Clearance Testing

After lead abatement activities have been completed, post lead abatement testing should be performed by a licensed professional before using the premesis.

This type of post-abatement testing will identify any residual lead which may have not been completely removed during the initial process and should include air, soil, and dust sampling around the affected area. Visual inspections are part of this process in order to make sure no further sources of contamination are present which could put individuals at risk if not identified or disposed of properly.

Before lead abatement begins it is important to have professionals identify all additional environmental hazards such as asbestos. Professional lead inspectors are trained and certified to handle all sampling materials to prevent recontamination of the cleaned site.

A trained, licensed lead professional will also have liabiliaty insurance for your project.