You have probably heard of the dangers of lead poisoning. Compounds containing lead used to be contained in many products that made their way into our environment. Are you curious about lead levels in your residence? Would you like more information?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a web site devoted to information about lead products and lead in the environment. There are many topic of interest to community residents. We encourage you to learn about lead in the environment and its potential effects.
One section of the web site is specifically for families and how to protect your family from lead and sources of lead. https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-sources-lead This is especially important in Herron-Morton because one statistic on the EPA web site states that 87% of the homes built before 1940 contain lead paint. One part of the web site states:
Lead paint is still present in millions of homes, sometimes under layers of newer paint. If the paint is in good shape, the lead paint is usually not a problem. Deteriorating lead-based paint (peeling, chipping, chalking, cracking, damaged, or damp) is a hazard and needs immediate attention.
Lead-based paint may also be a hazard when found on surfaces that children can chew or that get a lot of wear-and-tear, such as:
· Windows and window sills;
· Doors and door frames; and
· Stairs, railings, banisters, and porches.
The EPA web site gives several good references for specific items that residents can do to protect their families from the dangers of lead.
A few tips to reduce sources of lead exposure in older homes and buildings:
· Inspect and keep all painted surfaces in excellent shape and clean up dust frequently with a wet cloth or paper towel. Read about simple steps to protect your family from lead hazards (PDF).
· Consult a certified lead professional before beginning renovation, repair or painting projects. Renovation, repair or painting activities can create toxic lead dust when painted surfaces are disturbed or demolished. Learn more about hiring lead-safe certified contractors.
· Avoid tracking lead dust into the home by wiping and removing shoes before entering the home and placing dust mats both inside and outside of entryways. Read more about lead dust.
· Learn if you have a lead service line. Contact your water utility or a licensed plumber to determine if the pipe that connects your home to the water main (called a service line) is made from lead. Read more about lead in drinking water.
Working around lead products requires special care and in many cases there are laws governing how to work around lead products. The Web site offers information about the relevant laws and how to make sure your contractors are working within the law. There is even information for do-it-yourself projects for residents: https://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program-do-it-yourselfers and https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2013-11/documents/steps_0.pdf .
Lead Test Kits The EPA web site has information on Lead Test Kits: https://www.epa.gov/lead/lead-test-kits As of November 2021, we have learned of a free testing program locally which is program managed by IUPUI. Information on this program can be found at: Lead Screening Kits | Lead Screening Kit where you can register for one of the kits. Please note: If you are a homeowner and you test and find the presence of lead, you MUST disclose this information to potential buyers or renters of your home in the future.
Lead in Drinking Water.
The EPA web site is located at: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water
Some information given at the web site includes:
testing is the only sure way of telling whether there are harmful quantities of lead in your drinking water. A list of certified laboratories are available from your state or local drinking water authority. Testing costs between $20 and $100. Contact your water supplier as they may have useful information, including whether the service connector used in your home or area is made of lead.
You can learn on our Protect Your Family from Exposures to Lead web page:
· when you may want to test your drinking water; and
· what to do if your home tests positive for lead.
You can also view and print a fact sheet on testing your home’s drinking water.
The EPA has a check list to help you determine if you have some exposure to lead in your drinking water: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/protect-your-tap-quick-check-lead-0
The EPA recommends contacting our water utility for information on lead in piping leading to your home. Our water utility for Herron Morton is: https://www.citizensenergygroup.com/
At the citizens energy group web site, the following location is specifically dedicated to lead in drinking water: https://www.citizensenergygroup.com/My-Home/Utility-Services/Water/Lead-and-Copper-in-Drinking-Water. This site contains the following information:
Citizens does not have any active water mains containing lead. Rarely, elevated lead levels are found in isolated samples of tap water taken from customer homes with lead service lines or plumbing. Since each home has different plumbing pipes and materials, test results are likely to be different for each home tested for lead. It is important to note that most homes with lead service lines or plumbing do not have elevated levels of lead in the tap water.
Under the frequently asked questions section of the above mentioned web site, the following information appears:
Citizens energy offers a brochure on Lead in water and tips related to lead in drinking water: https://www.citizensenergygroup.com/My-Home/Utility-Services/Water/Lead-and-Copper-in-Drinking-Water/Lead-and-Copper-Brochure-2016