FAQ – Lead Based Paint
- Can’t I just remove the lead myself?
Lead dust cannot be fully removed by normal household cleaning. In fact, using a vacuum cleaner or a broom to clean up lead paint chips or dust can spread lead dust into the air and over a wider area, creating a very dangerous situation for a young child. Lead dust is also created by normal activities such as opening and closing windows and doors. Even well supervised children can become lead poisoned, as poisoning frequently occurs when children engage in the perfectly normal behavior of putting their hands, toys, and other objects into their mouths.
- How serious is Lead Poisoning?
Lead poisoning is a serious medical problem that each year affects hundreds of young children in Massachusetts because the house or apartment they live in contains dangerous levels of lead paint. Lead is so harmful that even a small amount can poison a child and can cause behavior, learning and physical problems that can require medical treatment or special education assistance. In addition, lead in the body of a pregnant woman can hurt her baby before birth and cause problems with the pregnancy.
- Is lead only found in older homes?
Lead poisoning crosses all racial, geographic, and economic lines, as lead paint can be found in almost every home built before1978. Although poor maintenance and cleaning habits can increase the risk of a child becoming lead poisoned, good maintenance and cleaning habits alone will not completely protect a child. Yes, this can be a very frightening experience.
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