Lead Paint in Lancaster, PA
Lead paint is a danger that often lurks in plain sight in homes built before 1978. Because Lancaster County has many older homes and buildings, it has a higher prevalence (13.4%) of lead poisoning compared to the rest of Pennsylvania (3.29%), with most cases of lead poisoning reported in Lancaster City (Source: Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology).
What is lead?
Lead (Pb) is a soft, malleable heavy metal that has a relatively low melting point. Because of its versatility, lead could be found in everything, from cosmetics to plumbing to gasoline—until recent times, when people realized its harmful effects on the human body and the environment.
Why was lead added to paint?
Lead was added to paint to “decrease the amount of time that the paint takes to dry, make the paint more durable, and cause the paint to be more moisture resistant” (Source: Today I Found Out). In 1978, it became illegal to sell or apply paint containing lead, which were replaced with safer, non-toxic paints.
Why is lead bad?
Lead is a toxic element that can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system, brain, blood cells, and kidneys. High levels of lead can lead to delusions, convulsions, coma, and death, according to Mayo Clinic.
Infants and young children are most susceptible to lead poisoning from inhaling dust from peeled paint or consuming chipped paint. Their bodies mistake lead for calcium (an essential mineral for growth and development), therefore they absorb more lead than adults (Source: Harvard University). Their brains and nervous systems are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of lead; it can cause delays in their physical, mental, and behavioral development and lower IQ levels (Source: Environmental Protection Agency). In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 890,000 American children between the ages of one and five years had elevated blood lead levels that could cause irreparable damage to their health and development.
However, you can prevent the deleterious effects of lead poisoning! If your house was built before 1978, it is best to call an expert to test your walls for lead paint. You can safely live in a home with lead paint on the walls if that paint is covered over with non-lead paint and maintained diligently (Source: Allegheny Front).
City of Lancaster Lead Hazard Control Program
The City of Lancaster provides financial assistance to reduce or eliminate the dangers of lead in housing of qualified applicants. A Risk Assessment is conducted to identify lead hazards and contractors who are licensed and certified in abatement methods will be called in to make the property lead-safe. Abatement methods may include repainting, replacement, or repair of items such as doors, windows, and floors. For more information and to see if you qualify for financial assistance, click on City of Lancaster Lead Hazard Control Program.
At Ville Painters, we have ViP team members trained and certified in the Lead Abatement Program developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. We are experienced with lead paint removal and safely paint over or strip lead paint for you. Call us at (717) 396-1176 for a free on site consultation and estimate, or if you have any questions about lead paint in your home. We are happy to help keep Lancaster County residents safe from the damages of lead paint.