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Taking off old paint

Posted by Bruce M on September 16th, 1997 11:22 PM
In reply to Lead paint removal by K Buckley on September 16th, 1997 03:17 PM [Go to top of thread]

Hi K:
IMHO, the danger of lead paint is way overblown, and most of the alarmist talk I have seen is from those in the lead abatement industry.

Just recently, I finished scraping to bare wood, 18 windows and 10 louvered shutters, the base paint of which I am sure contained lead. What I did was carefully tape to the house wall, plastic sheeting under each window so as to catch all paint, Then, wearing a paint respirator, I used a heat gun and special contoured scrapers to remove all old paint. When finished, I carefully bagged all the paint, stored it and then took it to a toxic/hazardous waste collection our county puts on every so often. I work in a hospital with a large occupational medicine department, and one of my physician friends there has drawn my blood twice when I was concerned about lead exposure, with this being the second time. Both times no lead in the blood, organs (principally marrow) or soft tissues was detected.

The real concern with lead is children. Their developing neurologic systems are very sensitive to heavy metals (lead, mercury, gold, etc), which in fairly high doses can impede the development of certain neural pathways. So you will have to exercise special care if you have children in the house to ensure they do not get into the lead paint you have scraped off.

Best wishes

Bruce M

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