Like all construction workers, painters can be a hard nose tough group of people. In fact, many times we wear the description as a badge of honor. Sometimes, there is nothing worse than talking with a “suit” (white collar worker) and listening to him explain how he wants the painting to be done. Painters are known to be a fiercely independent group of folks. This probably explains why over half of painters are self-employed.
When it comes to discussing about the dangers of lead based paint (LBP), you are most likely going to hear a belly laugh and stories of how they ate paint chips as a young kid. Many painters will tell you about a mentor, who has been painting for 60 years and is more healthy and active, than a bear cub.
What you won’t hear is how several painters are lead poisoned each and every day. This has been happening for decades and decades. You won’t hear about how painting is more dangerous than mining lead, when it comes to elevated blood lead levels. Carpenters, masons, remodelers and even demo specialist can’t even come close to the high numbers of lead poisoning cases that painters have.
If you would like to experience an eye opening moment, just put on an air monitoring system the next time you power sand some lead based paint on a pre-1940 built home. Most of you will be amazed at the amount of lead you’re sucking in.
It is amazing how simply wearing a disposable dust mask can make a difference when prepping a surface for paint. Naturally, it would be better to wear an N-100 disposable mask or even a half-faced N-100 respirator, but something is better than nothing.
Leave your cigarettes in the truck. In other words, keep your smokes away from lead dust. There is nothing like lighting up with lead dust on the filter. Torched lead is more dangerous than cool lead.
Wash your hands and face before you eat lunch.
By just taking a few minor precautions, you can save yourself a heap of damage.
Recent research is showing that even a very very small amount of lead can up your chances of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, depression, hypertension and stroke in adults.
Protect Your Family
While it doesn’t happen as a daily occurrence, hugging your wife and/or children when you get home can pass the danger to them. Mainly, this is from the lead dust on your clothes and shoes.
It is important to stress, that an amount of lead to increase your blood lead level to 10 mcg/dl can lead poison over 36 small children. This is because children have less blood than an adult, so it takes a lot less to get them to 10 mcg/dl. Plus, small children absorb lead into their blood 6 times easier than adults.
After a long day of sanding and scraping, consider dusting yourself off, take off your shoes before going inside and making your very first stop at the showers. Then hug your wife and kids. It’s also a pretty good idea to wash your clothes separately from the family’s clothes.
Simple steps that make a dramatic difference.