| > says and why. I don't have lead paint here, but if I did, I'm
| > on an acre lot, with no kids, and I don't eat dirt or paint chips,
| > so I'd be very tempted to do what it sounds like you would, ie
| > take some reasonable steps during work, but not go nuts about it.
| So just a week after your home gets painted. the home is sold, the new
family with little kids moves in and the children get mental defects.....
| upon investigation the high lead content is discovered.
| your family get sued for the lead contamination....
You really are a fanatic about this, aren't you?
We're talking about a case where little if any lead
*could* be exposed during painting, because it's
under the layer being sanded.
And how is he going to get sued for lead contamination?
Anyone who grows a vegetable garden knows that
you should never plant it close to the house because
there is probably lead in the soil there from earlier
painting. (Not only scraping. Sixty-odd years ago
house paint was often made on-site by mixing white
lead oxide dust with linseed oil.)
There is another solution, though, that might be
worthwhile to some people. I'm thinking of checking
into it for my own work: If the house is certified
lead-free it's exempt from the new law. Alternatively,
if a contractor has obtained the required certificate to
conform with the new law, they can bypass the requirements
if they test all areas that will be worked on and find
no lead. I don't know what the cost is of lead-free
certification, but it could make sense for some people.
On the other hand, there's also a caveat with that:
Where I live, landlords can have adults without children
sign a waiver that says they don't know whether there's
lead in the house. As I understand it, if they get it tested
and find lead then they no longer "don't know", but I'm
not sure what the legal ramifications are at that point.
The whole thing is a very awkward and expensive problem.
The new lead law was actually passed decades ago, but
they apparently only got it passed by promising everyone
involved that the law wouldn't go into effect until they
were no longer affected by it. In Massachusetts, a landlord
who doesn't live in their own house of 3 units or less cannot
reject any tenant, yet if a child under 6 y.o. moves in they
must pay for the tenants to live somewhere else while the
entire unit (and up to 5 " high exterior) is deleaded. Some
landlords simply can't afford that, and the state doesn't
pay. Further, deleading usually involves ruining the woodwork
up to 5' high, so it often makes more sense to just replace
all trim, doors and windows in the unit.
What amazes me is that we never learn these lessons. Both
electricity and radiation were considered to be possible
wonder drugs when they first reached the public. As
I understand it, the Romans knew about lead poisoning.
We've known about mercury poisoning for hundreds of years,
yet new "green" fluorescent bulbs contain mercury. Many years
ago I raked blueberries as a job. The pesticide of choice was
lead arsenate. The growers would just stop applying it a few
weeks before harvest to make the crop safe! I also picked apples.
(During my itinerant hippie days.) Those received 12 different
sprays. They're considered the most toxic produce product to
this day, in terms of residue. We still don't learn. A
recent British study concluded there was no notable difference
between organic and non-organic foods! These are scientists
who should be thinking rationally. Yet they ignore the toxicity
of neuro-toxin and mutagenic residues on crops, focussing only
on vitamin content. Why? Probably because really coming to
terms with the problems of industrial farming is simply such a big
issue that the scientists can't bring themselves to think about it.
And also because there are close links between powerful
government people and big corporations like Monsanto, which
has actually patented seeds designed to withstand even more
of their toxic pesticides and herbicides ("roundup ready" seeds)
and then take non-customer farmers to court for patent
infringement when their crop gets infected with roundup ready
So what do we do? You can't stop eating. We just have to be
educated and thoughtful, and do what's reasonable to avoid
the toxins. (Hopefully you eat organic as much as possible,
don't eat factory food or imported food from 3rd-world countries,
don't use moisturizers with parabens, don't eat from cans with
BPA lining, and don't use fluorescent bulbs, while you worry about
lead paint. And of course, you *have* eliminated your aluminum
pans, right? :)