This year’s winners of our $10,000 home makeover giveaway decided they needed windows, way beyond a new bath or door. The photos I have would suggest the same thing. However, when we arrived on the scene and inquired about the age of the home, our installers immediately knew this house probably had lead-based paint. When tearing out and replacing the windows, we had to be extra careful when it came to paint chips and debris. So, what is lead, and why is it a problem?
Lead was commonly used in paint before 1980 because it has properties that make it a useful ingredient for paint production. Lead-based paint was durable, long-lasting, and provided good coverage. It was also resistant to moisture and could withstand wear and tear, making it a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor use. However, over time, it was discovered that lead-based paint could pose serious health risks, especially for children who may ingest paint chips or inhale dust particles from deteriorating paint. Lead is a toxic substance that can cause a range of health problems, including developmental delays, learning difficulties, and behavioral issues. As a result, laws were introduced in many countries to prohibit the use of lead-based paint, and today, it is illegal to manufacture, import, or sell lead-based paint in many parts of the world. However, lead-based paint may still be present in many older homes and buildings, and it is important to take precautions when renovating or painting these structures to minimize exposure to lead dust and chips.
Since we had to be extra cautious, the installation team took time to isolate each window, extract, and clean all at the same time. These windows are then wrapped and hauled away from the shop.
Lead-based materials and waste from home remodeling projects should be handled and disposed of carefully to avoid contaminating the environment and putting public health at risk. Here are a few options for safely disposing of lead-based waste:
- Check with your local municipality or waste management facility to see if they accept lead-based waste. They may have special instructions on how to prepare the waste for disposal.
- Contact a hazardous waste removal company. These companies specialize in handling and disposing of hazardous waste, including lead-based materials.
- Take the waste to a designated hazardous waste collection event. Many communities hold events where residents can bring hazardous waste, including lead-based materials, for proper disposal.
It is important to note that lead-based materials should never be disposed of in regular trash or recycling bins as they can contaminate the environment and pose a risk to public health. Always handle lead-based waste with care and follow proper disposal procedures to ensure the safety of yourself and others.