Lead-based paint has been banned in the U.S. for decades, but some older homes and painted products can still contain it. As the paint deteriorates, the lead can contaminate dust and soil, which increases the risk of unsafe exposure to lead. If you’re concerned about unacceptable levels of lead in your older home, you should call in the professionals in the Bay Area to handle the lead-based paint removal for you.
Unacceptable levels of contamination have been defined according to where the lead is. For instance, 40 micrograms or more of lead in the dust found in a square foot on floors is an unacceptable amount. The same applies to 250 micrograms of lead per square foot of dust on interior window sills, and 400 parts per million (ppm) of lead in the soil found in children’s play areas. Soil that is found in places other than children’s play areas is considered contaminated at 1,000 ppm.
Often, getting through a natural disaster event is easier than dealing with the aftermath. This is especially true for healthcare centers, in which the biological contamination that can result from natural disasters will pose a health hazard to patients whose health is already compromised. In the Bay Area, mold remediation professionals recommend getting the process underway as quickly as possible. The longer water damage, mold, and other biological contaminates are allowed to remain, the worse the problem will get.
The Damage That Can Occur
A natural disaster can cause many types of damage, most notably, water damage. Floodwaters are particularly hazardous because they contain disease-causing microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. If the healthcare facility is salvageable, the restoration experts may deal with damage to the following:
- Building structures
- Furniture, including hospital beds
- Electrical system
- Durable medical equipment and machines
- Medical supplies
- Laundry area
- Cafeteria/kitchen equipment
The Initial Restoration Process
Before beginning the initial restoration process, inspectors must confirm that the hospital is safe to enter. This inspection will involve checks of the electrical system and fire safety system. All mold remediation and biological containment professionals must use the proper safety equipment to protect themselves from exposure to microorganisms. Then, the restoration efforts will first focus on these areas:
- Removal of remaining water and sewage
- Restoration of the sewage system
- Restoration of the water system
- Ventilation of the work area
Additionally, the remediation professionals must identify the safest route to transport contaminated materials out of the hospital.
The Remediation Process
After a major natural disaster, it’s quite likely that much of the structure and the building’s contents will have to be removed and disposed of, rather than salvaged. Once the hospital opens, it will serve patients who may have compromised immune systems, asthma, and mold allergies. It’s too risky to attempt to clean porous materials that were contaminated by mold. Instead, all of these materials must be removed and replaced. All non-porous materials must be thoroughly sanitized, and all surfaces in patient care areas must be disinfected. Later, medical equipment experts may be called in to assess whether these items are salvageable.
Asbestos abatement professionals in the Bay Area are properly trained and equipped to handle asbestos safely. The average homeowner, on the other hand, can experience adverse health effects upon exposure to asbestos . You can find out how this happens when you watch this featured video.
It’s an animation of how the needle-like asbestos fibers can enter the upper respiratory tract and travel to the lungs, where the fibers become embedded in the lung tissue. This causes a localized inflammatory reaction, which can result in cell and tissue damage. Eventually, the asbestos fibers can move to the pleural lining around the lungs, and trigger the formation of scar tissue. The buildup of scar tissue can interfere with the expansion of the lungs during breathing. The potential respiratory problems associated with asbestos are why it’s important to call in the professionals, instead of trying to remove these materials by yourself.
Lead-based paint is a major concern for homeowners, with good reason. Lead poisoning can cause children to develop a wide range of symptoms—from irritability to muscle weakness. This isn’t necessarily a reason to panic, however, since lead-based paint in homes in the Bay Area doesn’t cause problems as long as the paint isn’t deteriorating. It’s still a good idea to schedule testing and, if necessary, professional removal of lead-based paint for the following reasons.
You have ain older home.
Lead paint was banned in the U.S. in 1978. If your home was constructed before this time, there’s a good chance it has lead-based paint. The older your home is, the greater the chance of it having this paint. However, you should know that even if your home was built after 1978, it’s still possible for it to feature this paint. This is because the official ban on lead in paint didn’t require homeowners to turn over the gallons of lead paint they might have already had. It’s possible that the prior owners used this paint, rather than disposing of it safely.
You have children or are expecting to grow your family.
Children are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, as long-term exposure can cause anemia, behavioral problems, and even developmental problems of the brain. According to KidsHealth, every year, about 310,000 kids in the U.S. between the ages of one and five are found to have unsafe levels of lead . If you already have kids and your home is at an increased risk of having lead paint, you should get it tested. Couples should also schedule lead testing if they’re expecting a child, trying to start a family, or working through the adoption process.
Your home is near a heavily traveled roadway.
Even if your home definitely doesn’t have lead-based paint, it’s still possible for there to be high levels of lead in the soil around your home. If you live near a busy highway, it’s possible for leaded gasoline and its exhaust fumes to have contaminated the soil. Water runoff from the highway can carry the lead to areas away from the highway, like residential areas. Leaded gasoline hasn’t been used in the U.S. since 1996, but the residual contamination can remain in some areas.
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