Lead - The Importance of Inspection and Testing
Although its use in construction and plumbing materials was phased out before the 1990s, the presence of lead (a heavy metal) is still prominent, particularly in lead-based paint. This paint was used for everything from painting homes and commercial buildings to even painting items like children’s toys. In older buildings, it is still present in paintwork (both interior and exterior) on everything from window sills and baseboards to walls.
Over time, paint deteriorates and flecks can break off and create lead dust. This can even leach into the water supply. While lead contamination presents a hazard to everyone, infants and children under the age of six years are most vulnerable to its harmful effects. Exposure to high levels of lead through inhalation or ingestion of particles can cause an array of health issues from diminished immunity to learning disabilities, cognitive dysfunction, hearing loss, and even death. Adults who are exposed may experience damage to their cardiovascular, nervous, and reproductive systems.
Lead is heavily regulated and controlled and there are strict policies in the USA relating to its handling, maintenance, and removal, and for the protection of workers.
Learn more about lead and its management here.