The health hazards associated with lead toxicity have been known for decades. Finally, in April 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency Guidelines mandating practices for safely working with lead contaminated materials in your home, went into effect.
We consider your health and safety our most important responsibility during the installation and remodelling process. Therefore, we embrace the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety guidelines for proper handling and disposal of lead contaminated materials in your home, with tremendous respect and enthusiasm.
Gregg Schwager has completed all of the required training to become a Certified Lead Renovator. He has invested significant resources to purchase all of the necessary equipment, supplies, and materials that are necessary to protect your family’s health during the installation process of your windows and doors. When Gregg leaves your home, you can rest assured that any lead based paint, varnish, or stain that needed to be disturbed and thus create dust, will be thoroughly cleaned up and removed in strict compliance with the EPA’s High Standards for Safety.
Because we genuinely care about our customers, we take the new Federal Guidelines for Lead Safety very seriously so that we take every precaution known to us to protect your family’s health.
Are Other Contractors Taking the New EPA Lead Safety Requirements Seriously?
There is a lot of anxiety within the Home Improvement Industry ever since April 2010 when the Environmental Protection Agency enacted a new rule governing renovation procedures for lead based paint, varnish, and stains.
Throughout one of the hardest hit segments of the economy – the Home Construction and Renovation Industry, the buzz is all about the new law and what to do about it. For most it seems their main concern is how much it costs to obey the law and to comply with the EPA guidelines when lead tests are positive for contamination.
To those of us who understand the catastrophic dangers lead exposure potentially poses to the health of adults, children, pregnant women, and pets – it is astonishing that so many renovation contractors just don’t seem to get it. Many have chosen to ignore the new law and carry on with business as usual.
Some companies have purchased a Hepa filter for their existing shop vacuums and think that cutting corners to save time and money is good enough. This is their approach to complying with the new EPA Guidelines.
Then there are the contractors who just throw their arms up in the air in total disgust at this annoying new law and just refuse to test for lead and hope that if they “ignore it – it will go away”.
So If Lead Is Such A Big Threat To Our Health, Why Are So Few Contractors Obeying The Law and Taking The Risks of Lead Poisoning Seriously?
One can only speculate about why people react as they do. It is possible that many people are completely ignorant of the health risks created by lead and how easily lead contamination in even the most minute quantities resulting from the creation of dust from lead contaminated building materials harms people and pets.
More than likely, the average window installer or trim carpenter, who is an employee of some company in the industry, has no idea that by eating his sandwich at lunch without washing his hands first, and by walking into his own home after work with lead dust on his shoes, clothing, and skin, he is threatening the health of himself, his entire family, and even his neighbors and pets.
Another possibility is that the entire industry is so desperate for survival that the added financial burden of purchasing all of the required tools, materials, and equipment, along with the required training and certification courses, is the final blow to them financially and they just cannot afford to obey the law.
If these people think the cost of complying with the law is expensive, they will be completely wiped out when the Environmental Protection Agency begins to enforce the law and starts issuing fines in the thousands of dollars for violations.
Even worse, if these contractors have small children and they track the lead dust home on their clothes and shoes, they may have medical expenses, heart aches, and painful consequences that no amount of money can take away.
What Are The Health Risks Associated With Disturbing Lead Based Paint, Stain and Varnishes?
Lead poisoning symptoms include abdominal pain, headache, anemia, irritability, and in severe cases, seizures, coma, and death. (Mercola.com)
Children under the age of 6 seem to be the most affected by the devastating consequences of lead exposure.
High levels of lead have been known to cause seizures, unconsciousness, and death. There are studies which suggest that heavy metal toxicity, including lead, may be one of the contributing factors to the catastrophic rise in the rate of autism.
In 2009 the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported autism prevalence at a rate of one in 150 children. In 2010 they reported the rate to be one in 110. One in 70 boys in the United States is diagnosed with Autism.
It would be interesting to know the statistics of how many of these children live in homes built before 1978, with lead contaminated materials disturbed during renovation. It would also be enlightening to learn how many of these children have parents who work in professions involved in activities which are affected by lead contamination.
Other health issues in children which are associated with lead exposure include:
- Decreased intelligence, attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities.
- Behavioral problems
- Nervous system and kidney damage
- Speech and language problems
In adults, lead can cause:
- High blood pressure
- Fertility problems
- Digestive problems
- Nerve disorders
- Sexual disorders
- Memory and concentration problems
- Muscle and/or joint pain
In pregnant women:
- Lead in their blood is transferred to the fetus (unborn child)
- Harm to the fetus may include brain damage and death
According to Wikipedia, there is some evidence that lead exposure may also be linked to hearing loss, tooth decay, and cataracts.
EPA Certified Renovators Are Trained to Ensure Lead Dust Is Contained and Thoroughly Cleaned Up During Construction Projects Which Require Disturbing Lead Contaminated Materials
Contractors who care about you and your family’s health and safety will meet or exceed the new EPA Guidelines regarding lead safety. It is important that you carefully screen the companies who do your work if your home was built prior to 1978 and tests positive for lead based materials. You should avoid companies that take short cuts, cut corners, or completely ignore the possibility of lead contamination, as if your life depends on it.
If you suspect that lead may be present in your home and you are a “do it yourself, weekend warrior”, it is imperative that you follow the EPA safety guidelines during your own renovations to protect your own health, and that of your family, friends, neighbors, and pets.
What Information Would Help Those In the Construction Industry To Change Their Attitudes About Lead Safety?
According to Wikipedia, “No safe threshold for lead exposure has been discovered—that is, there is no known amount of lead that is too small to cause the body harm.”
Perhaps if more people became aware of the tragic story of how Kevin and Ann Sheehan unknowingly exposed their three daughters to lead poisoning during the renovation of their 1852 Victorian house, they would realize that people’s health, and lives are devastated.
There are cases that tragically result in death due to unsafe lead practices.
Thanks to the efforts of the Sheehan’s and many other advocates, the Environmental Protection Agency is finally making the construction industry aware that any amount of disturbance during renovation and repairs involving lead contaminated materials, creates dust that is tainted with lead.
The bottom line is that the bottom line doesn’t really matter in the big scheme of things – it’s only money. People are getting sick and some have died because of the ignorance about the dangers of lead.
The time has come to take lead seriously. When you hire a contractor to do any type of renovation which requires disturbing lead contaminated materials, you should be very diligent in your research of that contractor to ensure every possible precaution is taken to keep your family safe from the catastrophic dangers of lead.