Creating a Healthy, Happy Home Environment (Part 2)

RISK 2: LEAD CONTAMINATION In yesteryears, lead was used within many paint products. If your home was built before 1978 it most likely contains lead paint—but don’t fret! There are some simple things you and your contractor can do to prevent harmful lead exposure.

Lead contamination mostly occurs from breathing or ingesting lead dust. To reduce build up of this dust, simply take time to clean surfaces such as floors, window sills, and counter tops regularly. If you have children, keeping their hands (this may be the most difficult task!) and toys clean will help reduce their lead exposure. You may accidentally track lead dust in from the exterior of your home, so just remember to wipe your shoes before you enter. Eating healthy can even reduce the risk of lead contamination! Foods that are low in fat and high in calcium, iron, and vitamin C will do the trick.

Before a contractor begins work on your pre-1978 home, they should perform an EPA approved lead test. Containing the area where work is being done by sealing off doors and HVAC vents will help prevent the spread of lead dust to other parts of your home. Any furniture in the work area that can’t be moved should be covered and cleaned when the work is completed. Practices that minimize dust will be used during the renovation, but you should still stay out of the work area if possible. A careful and thorough clean up after the job is finished will rid your home of the lingering bits of dust.

Your contractor should also give you a copy of the Renovate Right pamphlet before work begins which contains more information about working with lead products. Be assured that we at Stearns make the concern of lead contamination a priority when completing any project for you.