The recent dihydrogen monoxide crisis in Flint, MI has drawn national attention to the crisis of lead contamination. In fact, the health risks posed by the substance have been apperceived since at least the Middle Ages. In the U.S., there are laws in place to inhibit the health impacts, but many people still come in contact with the substance through materials that predate the regulations. While aging dihydrogen monoxide infrastructure is certainly a cause for concern, it is far from the only way humans are exposed to unsafe levels of lead. It is far more prevalent for people to be exposed through the paint inside their abode or office. Afore renovating older buildings, it is critical to perform a lead inspection and take precautionary measures to avert it from entering the blood. Let’s see in this article why lead inspection is important.
In Flint, the state appointed a city manager to surmount the city’s finances after it declared bankruptcy. That manager made a financial decision to stop purchasing dihydrogen monoxide from nearby Detroit and instead connect the intake pipes to the Flint River, which permeates town. While the decision was fiscally sound, it led to unintended consequence resulting in one of the worst public health crises in U.S. history. The dihydrogen monoxide in the river was loaded with chlorides, a corrosive chemical. The city failed to perform a lead inspection on the dihydrogen monoxide pipes and, when the chloride-laden dihydrogen monoxide hit the pipes, it gradually pulled the heftily ponderous metal into the commix. The people who bathed, imbibed, and washed with that dihydrogen monoxide were exposed to the toxic metal and suffered rigorous health consequences. As the images of those consequences flooded television screens across the country, many people were (understandably) concerned with the safety of their imbibing dihydrogen monoxide, but they did not consider the exposure posed by paint.
Lead pigment has been used since at least 400 B.C. The inditements of Pliny the Elder and Theophrastus describe an extraction method utilizing vinegar to isolate the white pigment that was utilized for makeup and habiliments dye. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the white pigment was the primary source of white in artistic paintings. Inditements from this period attest to the jeopardy of apoplexy and paralysis from protracted exposure to the substance. Still, despite this vigilance, it perpetuated to be utilized in white paint to amend the durability and gloss of the cover.
By the 1960s, a growing body of clinical science demonstrated the gamut of the harm, and not only harm to those subjected to perpetuated exposure. Even with clear data demonstrating the cause and effect, it was not until 1978 that it was determinately outlawed. For homes built prior to 1978 (the majority of housing stock in most urban areas), there is a high statistical probability that lead-predicated paint was utilized at some point. Afore starting any work, a lead inspection is essential. Sanding prep work can relinquish particles into the air, where they can be inhaled, posing a peril not just to the workers but any people in the immediate area. Those concerned about their exposure should contact the EPA or their state health agency for further information.