March 25, 2013
National Poison Prevention Week spotlights lead-based paint
For one week a year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services emphasizes the importance of educating people about the dangers of poisons. This year, that week was March 17-23. In support of this effort, Simonton Windows, a sponsor of the Lead Safe America Foundation, spotlighted how to detect and prevent lead poisoning in the home.
Childhood lead poisoning can have serious effects
According to Gary Pember, vice president of marketing for Simonton Windows, “The week of March 17-23, 2013 is the ideal time for homeowners to learn more about possible poison exposure from lead-based paint and finishes that were originally used in older homes.” Pember explained that “childhood lead poisoning can cause permanent brain damage and I.Q. loss, ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum symptoms, and a long list of other serious health issues.” For instance, the simple act of opening the sash of an old window can release lead dust into the home.
Special contractors should be employed to work with lead paint
However, Pember warns that replacing such windows can also release lead dust. The only people who should do remodeling work in a home that has been found to have lead-based paint are “professional contractors who are trained and certified to follow specific work practices to help ensure the prevention of lead contamination inside, outside, and around the home.”
Homes built before 1980 are at risk of having lead-based paint. The Lead Safe America Foundation estimates there are still over 80 million homes in the United States that may have some amount of lead in their paint.
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