Lead, just like many of the heavy metals, is hazardous to the human body. But until other hazardous substances were controlled at the federal and state level, lead’s use – specifically in paint as a coloration and material enhancing aid – was only regulated after 1978. As the years progressed and the harmful effects have been better documented, it’s become more than just critical to protect children from lead poisoning, but also the law to have child-care facilities like daycare centers and school inspected for lead paint. As such, it’s vital to get your building inspected if there are children present.
Dangers of Lead Poisoning in Children
First, it’s important to understand why children are so at risk from lead poisoning, to get a better insight into the rulings and importance of protecting children in your care. While lead poisoning can affect people of any age, and lead to issues such as anemia and organ damage, there are three areas children are more susceptible:
- Bone Growth: Lead can interfere with calcium absorption, leading to weaker and stunted bones.
- Developmental Issues: Lead can interfere with brain growth, leading to developmental delays, speech and language issues, and comprehension.
- Organ and Systems: The nervous system can undergo damage (such as reaction and fine motor control) as well as hearing and kidney damage.
Regulations of the Lead RRP Rule
In 2008 the EPA issued a new rule requiring certification and work practices for contractors performing renovations, repair, and painting projects in buildings where children would be present: namely homes, childcare facilities, and schools. This rule, known as the Lead RRP rule, means that whenever work is done on a facility, it needs to be inspected by contractors with the proper training for the presence of lead paint.
Inspecting Paint for Damage and Before Work
Although the RRP may only be necessary while working on the building – situations where paint would be removed and could expose lead paint or cause it to become airborne – regular inspections are also key. A couple of things to keep in mind:
- Check High-Use Areas: Places and objects where children regularly come in contact with paint, such as railings, doors, and window sills, should be inspected regularly for damage.
- Inspect Paint for Damage: Even outside of remodeling work, paint should be inspected. As it is often painted over, new layers that contain paint can be revealed and pose a threat.
It’s important that your children are safe from the risks of lead paint. Here at Fiber Control, Inc., we specialize in complete lead paint abatement – the removal of lead paint without risk of lead dust or damage. This is done in conjunction with testing and removal of asbestos and mold from homes and businesses. Contact us today to learn about your options and get started.