Lead paint poses problems in older homes - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Lead paint poses problems in older homes

Adams County Health Department Adams County Health Department
Paint that doesn't contain lead can be used as a temporary fix. Paint that doesn't contain lead can be used as a temporary fix.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1 to 5 have unsafe blood lead levels. Local heath officials warn that could be a problem especially for communities like Quincy that are filled with historic homes that may still contain lead paint.

Officials at the Adams County Health Department said that if your home was built before 1978, then there's a high probability that it will contain lead.

Joshua Johnson is an environmental specialist at the health department. He said lead exposure can have long term effects on your child's health.

Johnson said limiting access to contaminated areas is best way to prevent exposure.

"The less contamination possibilities the better," stated Johnson. "So, the access to the lead, closing windows, closing off areas that are play areas that are living areas. If you know you have it in your home, just don't even let them around it."

Johnson said using paints that don't contain lead to cover the old paint can help, but the best fix is to completely remove the lead from your home which in some cases can be very expensive.

Another way to prevent exposure to contaminated areas is to clean with wet wipes and wet mops but Johnson said those are only temporary fixes.

He went on to explain areas like window sills pose the highest risk to your children because they're easy for them to access. However, he said lead in the home is different from lead contamination.

"Having lead in your home doesn't necessarily mean you have lead contamination. As long as it's not disturbed, there's no abrasions, there's no dust around that's contaminated, you should be fine."

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