Renovating an Old Home? What You Need to Know About Lead Poisoning

Jun 16 2021
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In any older home lead is a serious concern. When we gutted this home I knew we would have to go all of the way to get as much of the old finishes out of here as we could. We protected ourselves with thick gloves, fully covered our bodies and were completely masked when we did it but, still, lead poisoning is a very scary thing that needs to be taken seriously.

Black and White. Old photos, my farm, my home, my family pictures throughout the last seventy years. My grandparents farm left to me in their passing has gone through numerous changes over the years from renovations they did to my own giant renovation to make this farm my forever home.(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Lead is a toxic metal that can be very poisonous. Lead poisoning can be a very serious and even fatal condition. It is the result of lead building up in the body over time. Lead can be found in several substances, including lead-based paints in old houses. You can also find it in some art supplies, gasoline products that are sold outside of Canada and the US, and contaminated dust.

Lead poisoning will usually occur slowly over several months or even years and can lead to serious physical and mental impairment. While it is treatable, any damage that it has already caused to the body is incurable.

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in Adults

Zota knows the symptoms of lead poisoning, which you can read more about on their website. There are various symptoms that might impact different areas of the body. Lead will usually build up slowly and toxicity is unlikely after a single exposure. Some of the main symptoms of prolonged exposure to lead include abdominal cramps and pain, constipation, aggressive behavior, headaches, sleep issues, irritability, and reduced or no appetite. You may also experience high blood pressure, fatigue, memory loss, anemia, numbness or tingling sensation in your fingers and toes, and kidney problems.

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning in Children

Children are the most vulnerable to lead poisoning and may be exposed by putting lead-containing objects in their mouths or touching an object containing lead before putting their fingers in their mouths. Since children’s nervous systems and organs are still developing, lead can be particularly harmful to them. Some of the main symptoms in kids include a loss of developmental skills, low IQ, low grades at school, behavioral issues, developmental and growth delays, hearing problems, and learning difficulties over the short- and long-term.

Symptoms of a High Dose of Lead Poisoning

Emergency symptoms or even fatalities may occur if either an adult or child is exposed to a large and toxic dose of lead poisoning. These include muscle weakness, severe vomiting, severe cramping and abdominal pain, stumbling, seizures, and coma.

What Causes Lead Poisoning?

It occurs when the lead is ingested into the body, or when dust that is combined with lead particles is breathed in. Lead cannot be seen by the naked eye, and you cannot smell or taste it. Some common sources of lead include house paint that was manufactured before 1978, household items and toys manufactured before 1976, pipes and sink taps that can contaminate the drinking water, polluted soil, some art supplies and paint sets, lead figures, pottery and jewelry, kohl and kajal eyeliners, and storage batteries.

Who’s At Risk?

Children have the highest risk of lead poisoning since they are more likely to put objects in their mouths or put their fingers in their mouths after touching certain objects. This is especially true for kids who live in old houses that might have a higher lead content. People from developing countries have a higher risk since some countries do not yet have strict rules for lead control.

If you suspect lead poisoning in yourself or your child, you should get medical attention as soon as possible and remove the source of the lead.

and were completely masked when we did it but, still, lead poisoning is a very scary thing that needs to be taken seriously.
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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