March 23rd, 2013 7:47 PM by Dan Howard
Lead can be found in stain, varnish, shellac, batteries, pipe solder, lead water supply pipes, and lead solder in copper pipes. Imported cookware, toys, crayons, cosmetics and food crops can be a source of lead exposure. Lead acetate is added to many foreign paints and is used as an insecticide on crops. The evil of lead acetate is that it tastes very sweet. It was used as a wine sweetener in the Roman Empire and is credited with being the source of the physical and mental decline of the empire. Paint on a lead acetate painted toy with will taste good.
Paint, dust in the home, water in the home, and any bare soil outside the home are all items you may need to have surveyed for lead. The problem still remains that the exposure that raises a child’s lead level could be caused by contaminated toys at a day care center or other source. Without proof of that fact, the owner of an apartment may still be required to pay for alternative housing, testing and remediation of the living space.
Lead based residential paint in the United States was banned in 1978 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This was done after the failure to control lead dust from paint in housing.
The initial efforts at dealing with lead based paint in the home relied upon paint removal as a way to eliminate contamination. Unfortunately, the process of stripping, sanding and removing lead paint usually put more lead into the home. Sealing contaminated surfaces, dust removal, and protection of high friction surfaces such as windows, and good housekeeping were the most effective means of reducing lead exposure. Cleaning floor, wall and window surfaces will reduce lead levels.