Reduce Asbestos and Lead Paint Project Plan
If you live in an older home, there are many ways to protect occupants against the harmful health effects of lead paint or asbestos. For example, the following information helps show immediate steps to protect the indoor environment in your home from lead paint or asbestos and prevent problems during home projects, remodels or renovation work. Finally, find out how to reduce asbestos and lead paint in your home.
If you think there may be asbestos in your home, don’t panic. Asbestos-containing materials that aren’t damaged or disturbed are not likely to pose a health risk. Usually the best thing is to leave asbestos-containing material alone if it is in good condition. If you suspect material contains asbestos, don't touch it. Additionally, look for signs of wear or damage such as tears, abrasions, or water damage. Since damaged material may release asbestos fibers into the air you breathe, it will be a high priority to call a professional to remove or encapsulate the asbestos.
Tips to Reduce Asbestos
Here are 10 tips for reducing the chance for asbestos fibers becoming airborne in your home:
- Leave undamaged asbestos-containing materials alone.
- Keep activities to a minimum in any areas having damaged asbestos material.
- Take every precaution to avoid damaging asbestos-containing material.
- Always have removal and major repair done by people trained and qualified in handling asbestos.
- Don't dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.
- Don't saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in asbestos-containing materials.
- Avoid using abrasive pads or brushes on power strippers to strip wax from asbestos flooring.
- Always assume Vermiculite insulation contains asbestos and call an experienced asbestos renovator or abatement contractor.
- Don't sand or try to level asbestos flooring or its backing. When asbestos flooring needs replacing, install new floor covering over it, if possible.
- Don't track material that could contain asbestos through the house.
If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it has lead-based paint. Additionally, lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust from sanding paint, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning. Lead affects almost every organ and system in your body. Children six years-old and younger are most susceptible to the effects of lead which include behavior and learning problems, lower IQ and hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing problems and anemia.
Tips to Reduce Lead Exposure
If your home was built before 1978, here are 10 tips for improving the lead-safe aspects of your home:
- Regularly check your home for chipping, peeling, or deteriorating paint.
- Carefully clean any paint chips to eliminate the possibility they could ingested by children.
- Any work done in your home that could include existing lead paint, wet the area when working to minimize airborne particles and clean up thoroughly.
- Regularly check all painted areas such as windows, doors, and stairways, for any signs of deterioration.
- Regularly check for paint chips or dust – if you see some, remove carefully with a damp paper towel and discard in the trash, then wipe the surface clean with a wet paper towel.
- Wipe down flat surfaces, like window sills, often with a damp paper towel and throw away the paper towel.
- Mop smooth floors (using a damp mop) as needed to control dust.
- Remember to test for the presence of lead and lead hazards by a lead safe professional – this will tell you where you must be especially careful.
- Any renovation work such as window replacements or other work that could involve lead paint, make sure you consult a lead safe professional.
- If you notice children with any of the symptoms of lead exposure, contact your doctor immediately.
Finally, knowing how to identify the warning signs of lead paint and asbestos are important in your home. Additionally, make sure you seek out an experienced professional to help you determine the best approach to minimize the exposure and health effects of each.