Dangers of Lead in House Paint


When you or your employees get called for a painting job, you may be met by some dangerous surprises at the job site. Professional painters must first remove the older paint coat from the house. Older paint may be made with lead, which is hazardous to your health. Lead is prevalent in paint on homes that were built prior to 1980, and especially on homes that were built before 1940.

Before the 80s, lead could be found in many parts of the home. It was located in paint, toys, plumbing, batteries, dirt, kitchenware, and much more. Once the dangers of lead were discovered, it was removed from these products. Unfortunately much of the lead that was in old paint was not removed from houses that were already painted. What makes lead even more dangerous is that it can’t be seen or smelled. It’s flakey, which means that small specs that aren’t visible to the eye can be inhaled or consumed without anyone noticing. This can lead various health issues and illness related to lead poisoning.

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Some of the common side effects to lead poisoning include:

  • Lethargy
  • Migraines
  • Constipation
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Problems with hearing
  • Insomnia
  • Lower IQ
  • Interrupted Physical and Mental Development
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Reproductive Issues
  • Joint Pain

If you are a professional painter or you are in charge of employees, be sure to educate them on the health hazards involved with lead in paint on old houses. Always supply dusk masks so that hazardous materials aren’t inhaled. Also provide heavy duty gloves for your employees so lead doesn’t get on their hands and transfer to others through human contact. If you are unsure if a home has lead in the paint, there are a few methods that can be used to test the paint. You can use an x-ray fluorescent light to expose lead, send paint chips to a lab for testing, or you can use a DIY test kit found at any hardware store. If lead is discovered on a house you’re working on, strip or sand away the old paint. Remember to remove the paint on the trim of house as well.

If you or an employee do come in contact with lead on the job, seek medical attention fast to prevent any serious side effects of lead poisoning. If you have business insurance and more specifically, a painting insurance policy, then your company’s coverage and workers’ comp should cover the medical fees accrued for treatment of lead poisoning. If you want to know how much the insurance will cost you, get a painting insurance quote now.  Lead is a powerful and sneaky toxin that can be found in many old homes. Protect your clients and employees by safely removing the paint, and protect your wallet in case of lead poising with a great painting insurance coverage policy.


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