Lead & Lead-Based Paint

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:36 by admin
Ingestion of lead from deteriorating paint is a major source of lead poisoning. In 1978, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the sale of paint containing in excess of 0.06% lead intended for consumer use. It also banned toys and other articles intended for use by children, such as playground equipment, that uses paint with a lead content in excess of 0.06% because they present a risk of lead poisoning in young children.

Nationwide efforts to address lead paint hazards in homes and elsewhere have used 0.5% lead by weight as the level of lead in paint that should be targeted for lead hazard control measures. This level, cited in the 1992 Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (Pub.L. 102-550, Title X, October 28, 1992), has helped focus attention and resources on controlling the most significant lead paint hazards.

Testing by the CPSC staff and some state and local jurisdictions has shown that many school, park, and community playgrounds across the United States have painted metal or wood playground equipment that presents an additional potential lead paint poisoning hazard for young children. The equipment was painted with lead paint, and over time, the paint has deteriorated into chips and dust containing lead, due to exposure to sunlight, heat, moisture, and normal wear and tear. The lead paint chips and lead dust can be ingested by young children who put their hands on the equipment while playing and then put their hands in their mouths.

Lead is one of the oldest known metals. Lead is a naturally occurring bluish-gray metal found in small amounts in the earth's crust. Lead can be found in all parts of our environment. Much of it comes from human activities including burning fossil fuels, mining, and manufacturing.

Lead has many different uses. It is used in the production of batteries, ammunition, metal products (solder and pipes), and devices to shield X-rays.

Because of health concerns, lead from gasoline, paints and ceramic products, caulking, and pipe solder has been dramatically reduced in recent years.

Exposure to lead has been shown to cause brain and kidney damage, especially in children. Lead poisoning symptoms include, among others, nausea, headaches, constipation, seizures, and coma. Upon discovering lead exposure, it is important to immediately seek a lead free environment and medical attention.

Exposure to lead can happen from breathing workplace air or dust, eating contaminated foods, or drinking contaminated water. Children can be exposed from eating lead-based paint chips or playing in contaminated soil. Lead can damage the nervous system, kidneys, and reproductive system. Lead has been found in at least 1,026 of 1,467 National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

See your doctor if you have experienced serious health problems because of lead exposure. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

Information Provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

See Also

  1. Toxic & Hazardous Substances
  2. Cancer
  3. Coma: Overview
  4. Head & Brain Injury
  5. Headaches
  6. Kidney & Urinary Tract Disorders
  7. Men's Health Matters
  8. Reproductive System: Overview
  9. Seizures: Overview
  10. Severe Constipation: Overview
  11. Lead: Frequently Asked Questions
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