We get a lot of questions related to what home owners, and prospective buyers, should get their homes tested for. From mold inspections to radon testing, you can depend on Breathe Wright to let you know whether your home is hosting any negative influences on your health and well-being, not to mention your home’s value.
In addition to mold and radon, another source of adverse health effects that many homeowners need to be aware of is lead paint. Though the federal government banned consumer use of lead-based paint all the way back in 1978, that does not mean all homes nowadays are free of lead-based paint.
Older Homes Should Be Tested
Generally, if you live in an older home, one made in the 1970s or before, there is a chance that your home may be a source of this toxic metal’s negative health effects. The older the home, the higher the likelihood that it has lead-based paint.
Though the ban happened in 1978, lead was quite commonly used in home-based products, paint only being one such thing.
Older houses are important to inspect because past renovation projects most likely involved lead in some way shape or form. Like with many things, what happens to lead paint over time is a slow deterioration that makes it easier for household dust to pick up on lead, creating a harmful environment in your home through an airborne toxicant.
Lead Has Serious Health Effects
No matter how it enters your body, the health effects tend to be the same, and those effects can range from the mental to the physical.
The mental effects include irritability, loss of appetite, memory loss, and a general fatigue.
That fatigue will be compounded by the physical effects, which include abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, and pain or tingling that occurs in the hands or feet.
In high levels, which could be experienced in homes with unchecked lead paint, the long-term health effects can be quite severe. Amnesia, brain damage, and kidney problems can all occur and lead to a long decline into a severely weakened state.
Lastly, at the extreme end of lead exposure is death.
Families Need to Test Their Homes
Individual buyers should be concerned enough by those health effects, but children are especially at risk, as they tend to crawl on the floor and touch plenty of items with dust tainted by lead, then put their hands in their mouths.
Even unborn children can be affected by lead poisoning, as pregnant women that are exposed to lead end up exposing the fetus to lead as well. What can happen in that case is damage to the fetus’ developing nervous system, which can impact the child’s intelligence and behavior down the line.
High exposures of lead to pregnant women can even result in miscarriages or stillbirths, and can cause infertility in both men and women.
Get Your Home Tested for Lead-Based Paint
Sellers and landlords are required by law to disclose any lead-based issues with homes to buyers, but it is not always the case that buyers get the full picture. This is why you should get in touch with a certified home inspector like Breathe Wright to see if your home is host to lead-based paint.