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Lead paint - detectable?

Houses built before the 1960s have a high chance of containing paint containing lead . This type of paint was used for its opaque qualities, moisture resistance and fungicide functions s .
Since 1990, residential use paint no longer contains lead. However, if we have in the past appreciated the presence of lead for pastel colors, it is not possible to recognize it visually. It can be found on walls, on painted wood elements such as banisters and even on the floor.

What are the dangers of lead in paints?

The serious health effects of lead are well known: anemia, severely damaging the nervous system and the brain. The conséque nces would be even more important for children and pregnant women s . Because lead in paint tastes sweet, children may be drawn to it. Lead is not completely filtered out by the body and accumulates in bones and teeth. The body can take nearly 25 years to get rid of half the lead that he was able accumulated st .

According to the Government of Canada , there is no safe level of exposure to lead and it is for this reason that its use has been withdrawn from many everyday objects, such as cans or gasoline.

In 2013, hundreds of families living in the districts of Mercier – Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Villeray – Saint-Michel – Parc-Extension, Saint-Laurent and Verdun participated in a study by the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) on the residential lead and blood lead levels in young children Sources capita former boroughs of Montreal .

Among the results obtained, some are striking : ” 5 samples out of 306 of tap water exceeded the Quebec standard for the presence of lead in drinking water (0.010 mg / l). 13 samples exceeded the guide values ​​used for household dust (floor: 0.040 mg / ft 2 , window: 0.250 mg / ft 2 ). The median concentration of lead measured in the paint chips was 1300 mg / kg for 153 homes. Forty-two residences exhibited one or more scales that exceeded the guideline value of 5000 mg / kg ”

Do we need to repaint to cover the lead paint?

If we become new owner of a house dating back to fifty years s , chances are high that the paints used contain lead .

However, it is not recommended to systematically remove all paints that may contain lead. If the paint is not chipped, it is not accessible, that is, it has been covered, health hazards are almost non-existent. If no wo he touching the walls or woodwork has been painted with paint containing lead, it can be left as well. Your certified home inspector can make recommendations!

If there are small children in the house, then it is simply recommended to cover the lead paint with a new coat of paint, or with wallpaper or wall panels. However, these are only temporary measures, which do not remove the dangers of lead in the event that major work in the home needs to be done. For example, if one wants to possibly remove walls or change painted floors, this will create lead dust, even if it has been covered by a new coat of modern paint.

On the other hand, if the paint crumbles or is in poor condition, actions must be taken quickly to protect the inhabitants of the house. As mentioned above, ingestion of or exposure to lead in the air is a health issue to be taken seriously. The paint will have to be removed.

Health Canada has issued several recommendations regarding the removal of this paint. They suggest, among other s , not to work more than 10 minutes at a time and stop all work as soon as subvient discomfort. It is important not to use a sander or hot air gun, which causes lead dust and fumes. Above all, call on experts who will be equipped with devices to protect your health and that of their workers. The dangers of lead in paint are not to be taken lightly.

Professionals might choose to conduct chemical etching, which produces less emanation s lead in the air. In sum, it is strongly advised to leave the person ‘s properly trained to care for your lead paint problems.