Extension offers seminar on removing lead from homes

Published 10:27 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Are you fixing up a home built before 1978? That home may contain lead paint. If you disturb that paint and create lead dust, you and your family may be at risk for lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning can lower IQ, create difficulties in school, and cause other serious health, learning, and behavior problems for children. Lead can also make adults sick.

But lead poisoning is preventable. Follow these rules to avoid creating and spreading dangerous lead dust:

1. Keep your family and your neighbors out of the work area.

2. Prepare the area: Empty the room of toys, furniture, and other removable items. Then close the area off from the rest of the house.

3. Protect yourself from lead dust. Put on safety equipment, such as safety glasses and disposable coverings.

4. Work wet: Lightly mist painted surfaces except near electrical outlets. Then scrape or sand by hand, not with power tools.

5. Work clean: Keep dust inside the work area. Clean with damp rags. Then use a HEPA vacuum cleaner, a special machine that traps tiny bits of lead dust.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System will present a free program on Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Chilton County Extension office in Clanton called Don’t Spread Lead with information on easy cleaning and remodeling tips when working in older homes.

Everyone attending will receive some sample cleaning materials and refreshments will be served. For more information and to register call 334-844-3683 or 844-5638 or e-mail Laura Booth at boothlb@auburn.edu