Lead is a toxic metal that has been in widespread use for thousands of years. The extent to which lead has been used has resulted in considerable environmental contamination and poisoning.
Lead is a soft, durable metal that is highly versatile. Today, it is most commonly found in lead-acid batteries used to run the electrical systems of vehicles. But you can also find lead in a wide variety of products such as the following.
- Leaded Paint & Aviation Fuel
- Ammunition, Jewelry, and Crystal Glassware
- Ceramic Glazes, Toys, Cosmetics, & Traditional Medicines
Unfortunately, two of the most common sources of lead contamination are older paint and pipes in the home. Drinking water may contain lead that has slowly seeped into the water supply. The damage lead contamination can cause is considerable.
The Effects of Lead
The toxic effects of lead are pronounced in adults, but even far worse in children. Lead poisoning negatively affects the growth and development of the brain and nervous system. In adults, exposure to lead increases the risk of high blood pressure and damage to the kidneys. The unborn are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning when pregnant women are exposed.
Once lead enters the body, it can seep into the brain, bones, kidneys, liver, and all other areas of the body. Because it does not exit the body, the lead can build up over time to become a dangerous threat to your health. A woman with lead in her bones presents a danger to her unborn child because it may seep into the fetus.
Common Areas That Cause Lead Poisoning
Lead exposure can happen in two basic ways; inhalation or ingestion. Lead particles can be inhaled when materials that contain lead are burned. This includes recycling, smelting, stripping away old lead paint, and being in close proximity to aviation fuel.
Ingestion of lead normally occurs when water or dust from old water pipes is consumed. Another method is from food that has been stored in lead containers. Another possible form of ingestion occurs when a high amount of traditional medicines or cosmetics containing lead have been used.
There is no amount of acceptable lead exposure. This is because lead stays within the body and can build up over years even if the exposure itself seems only slight. With the cumulative effects of lead exposure being so harmful, it pays to have any lead in your structure identified and removed as quickly as possible.
How Brickley Environmental Can Help
If you suspect your home, office, or facility has lead call the professionals at Brickley Environmental today. They have the knowledge, experience, and training to identify and remove lead contamination from your structure in a safe, effective manner.
Lead was commonly used in the construction and painting of homes and buildings until the mid-1970s. If you are living or working in an older residence or commercial building, it’s possible that lead may exist. By calling Brickley Environmental today, you can schedule an inspection and find out if there is lead present.
For more information on lead, click here to visit the CDC website.