Once used as an additive to make a little paint go further, lead is now recognized as a harmful toxin. Canadian paint manufacturers have agreed to restrictions on lead in paint since 1991. If your home was built prior to that, as many homes in Toronto and Southern Ontario were, lead paint was probably applied to the interior surfaces. Even if the old plaster walls have been replaced with fresh new drywall, the window sills and door frames may still have a layer or two of lead hiding under the newer paint.
Understanding the danger of lead in your home and the various treatments options is important. Decon Environmental Remediation is here to answer any questions you may have about the presence of lead and to help address your concerns.
Is lead paint really that harmful?
The most recent studies from the scientific community indicate that any exposure to lead, even at very low levels, can have lasting detrimental effects on human health. Children are especially susceptible to the higher levels of lead absorption in the bloodstream, and have a greater likelihood of long-term health effects from lead exposure. Like most poisonous substances, there is no level that is considered safe in the home.
How do I determine if there is lead paint in my house?
The only way to know for sure that the paint in your home contains lead is to have it tested by a qualified professional. Home test kits from the hardware store are not faultless, and they cannot give a factual assessment of the level of lead in your home or the danger it presents. If you are planning renovations to a home built prior to the ban on lead paint, it is imperative to test for the presence of lead paint before you start disrupting interior finishes.
How do I get rid of it?
Common paint removal methods like dry sanding, dry scraping or power sanding do not work for lead removal. These methods can create a cloud of lead dust that can spread and sicken the occupants of the home, thereby contributing to the very problem you were hoping to avoid.
In some cases, if the paint layer is intact the safest course of action may be to leave the painted surface alone to avoid creating harmful lead dust. However, if the paint is damaged in any way (cracked, chipped, peeling, etc.) it must be addressed. Safe lead handling practices include:
- Enclosure to cover the lead surface with a new material like aluminium on window sills.
- Encapsulation that bonds a new material to the lead paint to keep it from chipping or flaking.
- Replacement of the affected windows, doors, or woodwork which may be necessary if the lead paint cannot otherwise be safely removed.
- Removal by wet hand scraping, wet hand sanding and power sanding with HEPA filters, or low temperature heat stripping followed by hand scraping.
Proper lead treatment, or lead abatement, requires professional intervention to ensure the safety of your family.
Why you should hire us for lead treatment?
Decon Environmental Remediation is an expert in lead treatment in Toronto and Southern Ontario. We provide you with a unique understanding of the particular challenges such as home age and typical construction and finishing techniques specific to your home. Your safety is our first priority in our lead treatment services, but your 100% satisfaction with our work is a close second.