Exposure To Lead Paint From Clothing

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Lead occurs naturally within the environment and has many productive industrial uses, such as paint and construction materials. Everyone is exposed to minute amounts of lead in the air, soil, food, drinking water and many consumer products. However, even small amounts of lead in your blood can be hazardous to your health.

Lead poisoning is a damaging attack of lead on the body. It is caused when an individual swallows or inhales any form of lead. Lead poisoning can cause brain damage, nerve damage and kidney damage.
Exposure to lead paint from clothing is usually relevant only to construction workers or contractors. Using disposable overalls helps to reduce the contamination of clothing, and thereby exposure to lead paint. Gloves and specific clothing also help to protect the worker from lead paint exposure.

Clothing that is not disposable can be used, but requires commercial laundry cleaning after work hours. Individuals who do work with lead on the job expose themselves to lead paint, and can bring the lead paint home to their families. Lead paint can cause poisoning or serious health problems for adults, and behavioral problems in children. Adults who are exposed to lead paint from their clothing may suffer kidney damage, fertility problems and high blood pressure.

A worker who must deal with any type of construction should use a spray bottle of water to wet the surface area before any scraping begins. The water will help to control any lead dust from getting on the worker's clothing or being inhaled.

The most threatening sources of lead exposure from clothing are definitely found in the work environment. When paint is removed without putting water on the surface, it will invoke lead fumes that individuals breathe in and put themselves at risk for lead poisoning. Workers can also get lead dust on their hands and transfer it to their foods, or inhale it if they smoke cigarettes. Additionally these workers can transport these lead particles to their homes on their hands, hair, skin, clothing and even their vehicles, causing a potential exposure risk to their families.

After working, contractors and construction workers should get rid of any clothing worn during the scraping of lead. They should discard it or use special laundry services outside of the home. If they are going to wash clothes inside the home, they should be sure to wash them separately from any other clothing, use an all-purpose cleaner when washing clothes, and clean out the washer after the lead-contaminated clothes are washed.

Change clothes and shoes before entering your home, if you are a construction worker or contractor coming in from work. Take a shower and wash your hands as quickly as possible after getting home. The lead can enter the body through the blood stream and cause major damage very quickly.

The first step in treating lead poisoning is to avoid further contact with lead. For adults, this usually means making changes at work or in hobbies. Lead poisoning can require invasive medical treatment and hospitalization in attempt to expel some of the lead from the affected person's blood. In most states, the public health department can help assess the home and identify potential lead poisoning sources.

Symptoms of adult lead poisoning include headache, weakness of the muscles, memory loss, moodiness, abdominal pain, headache and reduced sperm count in men.

If you are concerned about your family being exposed to lead , contact your local health department and request an inspection of the property, or a consultation vis-a-vis the removal or reduction of lead from your home. A blood test is the only accurate way to find out if you or a family member have been exposed to lead. Your doctor or health department can provide you with the necessary testing.