WHAT IS LEAD?

Lead is a heavy, gray metal.  Historically lead has been added to household paints and other paints because it helped them dry faster.  Lead-based paint also was preferred because it made a coating that stood up to wear and tear and weather changes.  Today lead is classified as a toxic substance and is know to cause adverse health effects in humans and the environment.  In 1978, the Consumer Products Safety Commission banned lead-based paint for residential uses.  However, lead-based paint for industrial uses, such as on bridges and other steel structures, is still permitted.

WHY IS LEAD DANGEROUS?

Childhood lead poisoning is the number one environmental disease of young children under the age of 6, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  At Low levels, lead’s neurotoxic effects have the greatest impact on children’s developing brains and nervous systems, causing potential brain damage, reductions in I.Q., reading and learning disabilities, hyperactivity, attention span deficit, decreased growth, and impaired hearing.  A blood-lead test is the only way to diagnose lead poisoning.  We urge you to test your children to detect lead poisoning in time to prevent or limit injury.

WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY SOURCES OF LEAD POISONIING?

The foremost cause of childhood lead poisoning in the US today is lead-based paint and accompanying contaminated dust and soil found in older houses built prior to 1978.  Leaded dust is generated as lead-based paint deteriorates over time, is damaged by moisture, abraded on friction and impact surfaces, begins to crack and chip, or is disturbed in the course of renovation, repair, or abatement projects.  This dust may be so fine that it can not be seen by the naked eye.  Peeling paint and dust, caused by lead paint chipping, are either inhaled by children or eaten by children.  Children also suck on their hands or toys that have lead dust on them.  Some toddlers even eat paint chips or chew on lead painted windowsills and stair rails because the paint chips are sweet tasting.  Lead can also be tracked into homes from exterior dust in the soil.  The high levels of lead in soil typically come from deteriorating exterior lead-based paint around the foundation of a house.  Bare soil that is contaminated with lead poses a hazard to children who play in it.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF LEAD POISONING?

There are usually no signs of lead poisoning, or they may be mistaken for symptoms of Flu or other illnesses.  If there are signs, these symptoms may include stomachache, cramps, irritability, fatigue, frequent vomiting, constipation, headache, sleep disorders, and poor appetite.

WHAT ACTIVITIES CAN CREATE LEAD HAZARDS OR DUST?

Renovation and remodeling can create lead hazards for homeowners and their families.  Removing lead-based paint or breaking through the painted surface may release lead dust throughout the home.  Even though the top layer of paint may be new, paint beneath it may contain lead, which is exposed to the air if that paint is chipped or disturbed in any way.  Lead-based paint can be found on walls, trim window frames, floors, stairways, doors, radiators, porches, railings, and exterior siding.  Surfaces with lead-based paint can be disturbed by removing or replacing windows, baseboards, doors, plumbing, fixtures, heating and ventilation duct work, and electrical systems and tearing down walls.  Sanding, patching, or scraping lead-based paint will also create large amounts of lead dust.  Burning lead-based paint with an open flame may result in poisonous fumes that can be inhaled.

HOW CAN I PREVENT MY CHILD FROM GETTING LEAD POSIONING?

Before beginning a renovating or remodeling project or buying a new home, be sure to have a Certified and Licensed Lead-Based Paint Inspector or Risk Assessor test for lead-based paint in the home.  Protect your child with regular screening.  Screening and early detection of lead poisoning will avoid damage from long term exposure.  The lower the lead levels the easier the treatment.  Screening is done by a blood test to find out if there is too much lead in your child’s blood.  Most children should be screened at 12 to 15 months of age and should have follow up screening as recommended by their health care provider.  Screening locations may include health clinics, family physicians or pediatricians, and the Public Health Department.

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
Air Quality Division
PO Box 1677
Oklahoma City, OK 73101-1677
General Phone Number (405) 702-4100
Fax Number (405) 702-4101

Please contact us with any questions you may have

WHAT IS RADON?

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, water, and rocks.  It enters your home through cracks and other openings in the foundation.

Some amount of radon can be found everywhere – even outside air contains about 0.4 pCi/L.  The average radon level in US homes is 1.3 pCi/L, although this number may be higher or lower in your home.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Surgeon General strongly recommend all homes to be tested for radon.

HOW CAN RADON AFFECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer (next to cigarette smoking) in the nation.  Your lung cancer risk associated with radon is determined by the level of radon in your home, the length of time exposed to that level and whether or not you smoke or have ever smoked.  Smoking increases your radon risk 10 to 20 times.

Environmental Protection Agency, Radon

Please contact us with any questions you may have

What is mold?

Molds are simple, microscopic organisms, found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors.  Molds can be found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic materials.  Molds are needed for breaking down dead material.  Mold spores are very tiny and lightweight and this allows them to travel through the air.   Mold growths can often be seen in the form of discoloration, ranging from white to orange and from brown to black.   When molds are present in large quantities, they can cause allergic symptoms similar to those caused by plant pollen.

Should you be concerned about mold in your house?  

Yes.   According to EPA, if the visible contamination is extensive (greater than 10 square feet) or when airborne mold spores are present in large numbers or in types different than what is present outdoors.  Under these circumstances mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, infections, and other respiratory problems for people.  Exposure to high spore levels can cause the development of an allergy to the mold.  Mold can also cause structural damage to your home. Similarly, when wood goes through a period of wetting, then drying, it can eventually warp and cause walls to crack or become structurally weak.

Are some molds more hazardous than others?  Allergic persons vary in their sensitivity to mold, both as to amount and type needed to cause reactions.  In addition, certain types of molds can produce toxins, call mycotoxins, which the mold uses to inhibit or prevent the growth of other organisms.  Mycotoxins are found in both living and dead mold spores.  Allergic and toxic effects can remain even in dead spores.    Exposure to mycotoxins may present a greater hazard than that of allergenic or irritative molds.   

Please contact us with any questions you may have

6539 East 31st Street Suite 33 Tulsa, Oklahoma 74145 __Office: 918-747-1330 __Fax: 918-743-3961