What is lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal often used in the manufacturing of common industrial and building materials. It is a soft, malleable metal known for its high resistance to chemical corrosion. Additionally, buildings built prior to the 1980’s may contain lead-based paints and plumbing. Lead can be found in many forms both inside homes or places of business, as well as in water, soil and the air we breathe.
Common places for lead:
In homes and workplaces: lead-based paints and plumbing in older buildings.
In transportation: It is often used in the transport and storage of a wide variety of chemicals.
In products: lead sheets, chemical liners, batteries, and cable sheathing.
What are the risks of lead?
Lead exposure can occur through accidental ingestion through the lead in water or in solid form (for example paint chips), or through inhalation of airborne particulates of lead. It can cause damage to the nervous system and brain and is often a cause of impairment to both hearing and speech. While lead can be dangerous to all parties exposed, it is especially concerning to children and pregnant women. Lead exposure has the potential to stunt growth and development as well as play a role in learning and behavioural problems in young children.
What can I do to reduce the risks associated with lead?
The best way to be certain if a building is lead-free is to test for it. T. Harris Environmental Management offers quick and accurate testing services through bulk sampling of paints suspected of containing lead and, in coordination with our partners, conduct subsequent laboratory analysis under the protocol of Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (F.A.A.S). T. Harris Environmental Management is flexible to various deadlines and capable of delivering results within same-day turnaround time in most locations.
A lead survey will:
- Locate surfaces on which lead paint has been applied or where lead occurs in other materials
- Determine levels of lead present
- Assess accessibility and condition of the paint or other lead sources
- Assess potential exposure and health risk
- Recommend and provide appropriate control or abatement procedures required
- Establish a permanent record for use in the event of future renovation or demolition
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