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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Lead in Your Home," contributed by Evelyn Jarosz, ECN patient

If you are a client of Dr. Molly Linton’s and you are being treated with or considering heavy metals chelation therapy, you may be interested in potential heavy metal sources, current renovation laws, and what you can do to protect yourself, family, tenants, and pets from heavy metal exposure.

In 2008 a painting company failed to practice lead safe protocol on my home and it cost me a second mortgage in remediation costs, repairs, and attorney fees. There is a new law in enforcement to protect home owners from unscrupulous contractors, but if you are unaware of the law, or what safe practices are, you could be exposed to lead and other contaminants.

Most of us have heard that houses before 1978 are possible sources of lead. What you may not be aware of is just how likely your house is to have lead in the paint. According to the EPA’s Report On The National Survey Of Lead-Based Paint In Housing, “an estimated 64 million,” “or 83 percent of all privately occupied housing units in the United States built before 1980 have lead-based paint on some surface in or around the building.”

Renovation in a home built before 1978 can disturb this contaminated paint and expose anyone working or living in the house to lead and other contaminants. The EPA’s Report Lead Exposure Associated with Renovation and Remodeling Activities gives information that, in summary, states that construction creates contamination, and that the level of contamination varies depending on what is disturbed during construction. Many of us renovate over a period of time. As a homeowner you may replace a door one year, a few windows the next, update a bathroom or kitchen, remodel a basement or attic, and paint the exterior every 7 to 10 years. Unless what is replaced, repaired, removed, or painted, was installed or built after 1978 it is very likely that lead is being released.