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Old 06-10-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


To preface this--I'm a hypochondriac. But I think I may have good reason to be concerned this time around.

Briefly: bought a house six years ago that was built in the 1920s. Front porch paint has been chipped/peeling for years. Decided this was the summer to tackle it. Stripped down to what I thought was the bottom coat of paint and tested it with those LeadChek swabs from Home Depot--negative.

Went to work for the next 3-4 days using non-toxic strippers (Citri-Strip, Smart Strip) and scraping up the 4-5 layers of paint over the wood planks. I'd say 80% of the time, the paint came off "wet," soggy with the stripper, but I definitely noticed some dust being kicked up, especially when the Citri-Strip had dried.

Saturday: was down to a new, undiscovered layer of bottom paint, a cream color. Bought a sander and was ready to go to town but decided to test for lead again just in case. This time, it came up positive. Cue pacing and restless sleep.

Needless to say, I didn't sand. I sprayed the porch down with water, wet-scraped what little paint was still loose, and then used a deck wash to get rid of any dirt or grime, spraying most of the run-off on to a canvas tarp. Just ordered some EcoBond from Home Depot and will use that to encapsulate the porch before I prime and paint it.

I now have a phone call into my physician to see if I can get tested for lead in my blood. My question: how much should I worry, and how much is EPA hysteria? I wore an N95 respirator the entire time I worked--though I know N100 would've been better for lead--took off my work clothes/shoes before entering my house, and jumped in the shower immediately each time.

I also plan to seal my driveway and "trap" any residual paint chips that way. So--should I panic now, or wait until my blood results come back?

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Old 06-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


Save the panic for later.
Seems you did everything correctly, the respirator is a nice touch.
I am not going to blow sunshine up your you know what, say it is harmless.
I have gone through the 8 hour course and am certified and licensed to remove lead paint.

The big issue with lead paint is children, They stick things in their mouth. They find some lead paint on the wall chipping off and stick it in there mouth, lead is sweet tasting. They want some more of it and will continue to pick it off and eat it.
Is really easy for them because of their size and get lead poisoning, This is real life factual it happens way to much every year, but less each year because not often is lead paint used anymore, but it is still used.

An adult just needs a higher dosage to achieve lead poisoning, our instructor that also was a major commercial local painting company, he went to school to achieve teacher status, so he could teach his own employees.
In all his years, he knew one painter that had lead poisoning, and it was from years of painting and doing what you are doing with no respirator.

I would be very careful who you ask for advice locally and your actions, clean it up the best you can. You tell a city inspector about this and they will condemn your house as a toxic waste site. Charge you thousands of dollars to clean it up, same time the waste will just be dumped into a local dump.
The requirement is, you put the lead paint debris from demo into a plastic bag.
You then do a certain knot on that bag to close it up called a goose neck, then the knot tells the garbage man it contains lead and to not open it.
As they toss it in the city truck and use the crusher to compact the load and the plastic sack gets ripped open. ... yeah right.

According to my instructor, we still use lead based paint today in commercial applications.
The reason for the lead was they could make the paint last longer with the more lead that was added.
Old barns were very common to be red, not because it was a popular color, with red, they could add more lead to it and it would last longer then other colors.
San Francisco bridge was one example for lead paint today, painters 365 days a year minus Holidays, they use lead based paint and start at one end and by the time they get to the other end, is time to start over.
Elevator shafts in high rise buildings, we still use lead paint, just not allowed in residential.

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Old 06-10-2013, 03:29 PM   #3
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


I highly doubt you were exposed to enough to get lead poisoning.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:43 PM   #4
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


I'd be surprised if you were exposed to enough to get a sniffle from the dust, let alone lead poisoning.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
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Lead poisoning is a very real concern which is why the EPA has called for abating it properly. I too doubt you took in enough to get any sort of acute poisoning but if in doubt, you should ask your doctor.

Kids are more susceptible to lead paint poisoning because they are smaller and concentrations will be higher than the same amount taken in by an adult---they just have less blood flowing to dillute it. And, it does have a sweet taste so they tend to chew it because it tastes good.

The main dangers are not so much acute poisoning from paint chips but the cumulative effects of heavy metals in the human system. Of course all the paint chips that have leached lead into the environment over the years now comes back to haunt us too. While the paint chips from a single home may pose no great freestanding risk, once you get an entire neighborhood or municipality leaching heavy metals into runoff or down into groundwater it does become environmentally significant and dangerous.

Same with any heavy metals and things like mercury. It is not so much that the metals in your personal electronics or the mercury switches that were in your car or in your CFL light bulbs were going to change the planet but when you start talking millions landfilled electronic components, car switches and light bulbs it becomes an issue.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:53 PM   #6
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


Thanks to everyone who replied. I just got back from getting blood drawn, and it apparently has to be sent to a lab in Utah(!) for the lead testing. If anyone is curious, I'll follow up with the results when they come back later in the week.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:51 PM   #7
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It will be negative, no doubt about it.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


Yup. You're way over thinking it. You'll be fine.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:03 PM   #9
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For all you did I wouldn't worry about it if it was in an enclosed room let alone outside. I think everyone on here but you already knows the result.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


I really love these topics. Even better are the ones, are Asbestos and the Radon scares. Most people do not realize, that we breathe in more toxins by walking out of our front doors, going into hardware or farm & home stores, going into work, than we do working on our homes, through our lives.

I was born when they were still doing Nuclear bomb testing, my father was stationed in areas that there was massive fallout from the Pacific bomb testing in the 40's, he is still around and in his 70's.

Even those of us that survived the fallout from Chernobyl as it went around the planet, or even worse, the massive release of nuclear radioactivity from Japan a couple of years back, have taken in more isotopes from those two, than our parents did as kids, for those who had parents born in the late 30's, early 40's.

My wife's grandmother is in her mid 90's, and still around. So those who are scared about a little bit of lead paint, asbestos, radon, really should open up their eyes, for what they have survived through.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:54 AM   #11
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


man or man, haven't heard radon for awhile and gregzoll is right on, even without the air we breath, just think about all the stuff you eat and drink everyday, THAT should give you nightmares.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:13 AM   #12
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:20 AM   #13
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


Thought of something some of you may not know about.

Watch dials that could glow in the dark were a big deal, first in the military and then as, of course high fashion. There was a US watch factory that hired "Radium Girls" to sit with tiny detail brushes and paint watch dials. They of course did their nails and and went out clubbing and all. And, come on guys, wouldn't you even today be attracted to some young woman with glow in the dark capabilities?

Anyhow, the substance used to paint the dials was radioactive radium. Expose your watch dial to some sunlight and it would glow when it got dark.

Anyhow, the radium girls used tiny photo retouch type brushes to paint watch dials and were paid quite well for the work. They would shape the bristles so the could needle tip paint the dials. Effects were cummulative. None fared so well long term though.

http://waterburyobserver.org/node/586

And Jeeze Louise Professor Joe. Not everything is a government plot! Sometimes we just plain screw up or refuse to act responsibly. No matter which side is in power, this triggers need for government action that many endorse at first. "We" ask the government to step in and do what we should have thought out in the first place.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:57 AM   #14
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RoughDraft View Post
To preface this--I'm a hypochondriac. But I think I may have good reason to be concerned this time around.
Do you get your fruits and vegatables from a grocery store? You're taking in way more toxic stuff from there than you did with the paint.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:15 AM   #15
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Lead Paint Discovered After Scraping: Uh-Oh.


Don't forget the big radiation scare till they found out there was more being emitted from smoke alarms than what they were talking about. Does anyone remember when the asbestos thing started and everyone panicked they shut down schools and hospitals to remove it. Then after awhile someone figured out they killed and harmed more people than if they had left it alone and not made it airborne.

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