Lead

What is Lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring formed element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust and surface. While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans, especially small children and animals.

Where can I find lead in the Charlotte area?

Almost everywhere: in the air, soil, water, and even our homes. Lead is all over our environment because of its former use in paint used in residential, commercial and industrial buildings and in leaded gasoline. Lead has been used in many substances including: paint, wall boards, plasters, ceramics, pipes, plumbing material, solders, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, and even cosmetics.

Past lead use has lead to a build up of emissions into the environment.  Current practices still add to this problem such as mining, smelting and refining.  Natural levels of lead in soil ranges from 50 to 400 ppm (parts per million).

With disruption, the lead is released into the air as emissions from vehicles and industrial plants traveling before settling onto the soil.  Depending on the lead chemistry and soil type, the lead may make its way to the ground water table.

Now that the health effects of lead have been documented, the government has incorporated regulations to decrease the amount of lead that is used in consumer products such as paint and gasoline.  These regulations have lead to decreased amounts of lead in the water and soil.

With testing your building for lead utilizing the skills of Pinnacle Property Inspections, you can be sure that you and your employees or family members are not exposed to the dangerous health hazards of lead.

Who can be at risk to Lead in the Charlotte Area?

Children

Children are growing quickly, utilizing and absorbing the compounds in nature into their bodies.  This increases in absorption can lead to lead poisoning much quicker than in an adult.  A small amount of lead ingestion can lead to mental and physical developmental problems.  Symptoms of high levels of lead poisoning are seizures, coma and death.

How do children contract the lead?  Since little ones are prone to sticking their hands and other items into their mouths, these items can be contaminated with soil or dust containing lead.  A dangerous problem is flaking paint in old homes or dusty remodeling of older homes containing lead paint.  Care must be taken to avoid using dishware that contains lead, eating food or drinking water containing lead or bring lead containing toys into the home for children to play with.

Lead poisoning health effects in children:

  • Brain and nervous system damage, leading to behavior and learning problems, lower IQ, and hearing problems
  • Slowed growth
  • Anemia

Adults

Adults are normally exposed by either ingesting the lead through food or water, dishware or by inhalation of dust particles dispersed by remodeling work inside of commercial or industrial facilities or homes.  Get your commercial or industrial building or home tested before you begin a construction project to be sure you can protect yourself and others by disposing of the products properly.

 

Pregnant Women

When lead is absorbed into our bodies it is stored inside our bones.  The lead is stored with calcium in the bones.  This lead can be released into the blood circulation along with the calcium and can cross the placenta during pregnancy and become absorbed into the growing fetal bones.  The implications of this fetal lead exposure can lead to miscarriage, low birth weight and premature delivery.