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How to test for lead

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Do you need a lead test kit?

 

Lead is extremely poisonous to human beings. Even tiny amounts of it in our blood, measured in millionths of a gram (micrograms) may damage our health and wellbeing. Human exposure to lead is estimated to account for 143 000 deaths every year and 0.6% of the particular global problem of disease. Children absorb  it way more readily than adults and are so at increased health risk. More than one million American children could have blood lead levels that need medical treatment, and greater than this number might be mentally or emotionally impaired in one method or another by lead exposure.
There's two primary ways that lead can enter the human body.

Lead Inhalation
Lead can be present in the air as dust, fumes or mist and can be inhaled and absorbed through the lungs and upper respiratory tract. This type of absorbtion is common in smelting facilities and can be restricted by having a respiratory mask with appropriate N100 filters.

Lead Ingestion
Lead can be also absorbed through the digestive system via the mouth. This could be reduced by improved personal hygiene habits such as washing hands with an appropriate cleanser such as D-Lead All Purpose Cleaner.  You should always wash your hands when you come in contact with lead in any form.
Not as common today
Acute lead poisoning is less typical today than before its toxicity was commonly recognized. Having said that though with greater environmental quantities, subtle health effects from tiny amounts of lead are being diagnosed via testing. Children are in danger from premature birth, small stature, and decreased mental advancement, and adult men might have higher blood pressure as a result of lead exposure. Airborne lead levels in American cities are tens of thousands of times higher than before lead mining commenced.

The beneficial news is the fact that there are tests to determine the exposure levels and there are things every one of us can do to cut our personal contact with lead.
You can buy testing kits and d-lead wipes from companies such as Amazon.
Paint
Always be careful of paint in old homes as lead based paint was common up until the late 1970s.  As mentioned you can buy testing kits to be used in the home or you can remove the paint and send it to an EPA recognized laboratory.
However it is advisable that if you are removing or sanding lead paint always wear  disposable boots, gloves and a N100 respirator.

 


Example lead testing kit


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