How Much Lead Does It Take

 
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:03 AM   #1
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How Much Lead Does It Take


If you sand off the paint (lead based paint) on a 1' x 1' wall and the paint has the minimum (.5%) amount of lead to be officially called lead based paint ... how would it bother you?

If you're a big burly 200# contractor and had a big breakfast before doing it and you only snorted or swallowed 1/100th of the lead ... you probably would get one heck of a headache from the lead. It probably would do other things, but these things wouldn't show outwardly symptoms.

If you skipped breakfast and dinner the night before, they probably would be rushing you to the hospital.

If you snorted or swallowed 1/50th of the lead from that 1' x 1' sanded area ... you probably wouldn't be around when the ambulance arrived.

-------

Note: 1 big burly contractor = 20 10# children. You can do your own calculations. Just remember that a child absorbs more lead into their system than an adult. A lot more.

Another Note: Most lead based paint has more than .5% (1/2%) lead content. 1930s to 1950s houses on average have 15% to 25% lead content. Homes built in the 1900s to 1920s on average have 50% lead content. I'll let you do your own calculations.

-------

Here is the problem: When you do a house, most contractors (and homeowners) don't know if it has 0% lead content or 50% lead content (or something in between).

You don't know if you're going to have no headache ... a big headache ... or lights out. Since you most likely don't know ... you're taking a gamble.

If you want to take the gamble ... fine by me. It's your life and you can do what you want.

If you want to force the homeowners (and children) to take the same gamble as you + plus get paid for it ... this is where I start to have a problem with it.

Just my opinion
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Good post and I agree with you in principle. I have taken the RRP lead class and recent refresher (well; may 2010).

I'd like to have the source of the info though. You got a link?

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:30 AM   #3
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Interesting. But that must mean that me, my 72 year painting friend and everyone else who has not got effected by what you have stated, is just plain lucky. I myself am skinney as a rail and I very rarely get headaches. Again, I'm not dubting your word, but it's almost like lead have gotten more potent in some strange way, since Aprill 22, 2010.

To this day, I don't know of, or have heard of, one contractor who has gotten sick or hauled off in an ambulance due to lead dust.

By the way, this would be a good time to ask this question. I used to use actual Lead in sheet form. I would use it for flashing around chimneys, etc, and also use it to seal joints on wooden gutters. ????
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Amazing how a little dust can kill you but myself and friends who used suck and chew on lead sinkers as kids were never harmed. Some of these kids even swollowed them by accident with no issue. Cant tell you how often i smelled the fumes from smelting lead to make sinkers either when i was younger.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:52 AM   #5
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Do you remember those "clamp on sinkers" for fishing? The ones that looked a bit like pac-man with a tail...

I used to chew on those as a kid. I also LOVED biting air-rifle pellets in half.

Has not effected me... Or HAS it!



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Old 03-08-2011, 11:07 AM   #6
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


I'm trying to sort out what everyone is saying, in a fair way, and have a question. There is obviously a good many on each side of the fence here. To the one's on the side that agree with and promote RRP, here is the question: If you have kids, would you actually live in a house that was built before 1978? As I can produce a scenerio that even scares me a little. What if you are in your say 1948 house and your wife is vacuuming and accidently chips off a piece of paint on a door casing and your little crawler picks it up.....

If you all are that concerned about adults possibly breathing some dust, what must your thoughts be on that?
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Remodeler View Post
I'm trying to sort out what everyone is saying, in a fair way, and have a question. There is obviously a good many on each side of the fence here. To the one's on the side that agree with and promote RRP, here is the question: If you have kids, would you actually live in a house that was built before 1978? As I can produce a scenerio that even scares me a little. What if you are in your say 1948 house and your wife is vacuuming and accidently chips off a piece of paint on a door casing and your little crawler picks it up.....

If you all are that concerned about adults possibly breathing some dust, what must your thoughts be on that?

The sky is falling. The sky is FALLING!
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:19 AM   #8
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


I go to the gun range, and sometimes there is lead

Should I contain the area?
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:22 AM   #9
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


It also looked a little like urban myth, a "fact" that gets repeated without being questioned and but may or may not be true. I heard in RRP class how small an area of lead paint it takes to pollute an entire house if one was to pulverize it and distribute it.

I've retro-ed quite a few old houses and did so before I had much knowledge or equipment; certainly no lead safe work practices or high efficiency vacuums or tools w/ vacuum ports.

We used to smelt lead....discards from lead shielding of radioactive medical isotopes. Also used to possess and play with mercury; polished coins and silverware with it. Somehow I escaped serious injury but one never knows what will creep up in the future. I'm probably also at risk for mesothelioma and asbestosis.

While I question the information source I support the sense that a "professional" will abide by the current law (which also implies knowing what it is), and cares for the people who live in the house, or will live in the house, the people who will do the work and even those people who live with the worker. Even if the statistics are not dead on (I don't know but suspect some verbiage) the principle is right.

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Old 03-08-2011, 11:28 AM   #10
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Remodeler View Post
Interesting. But that must mean that me, my 72 year painting friend and everyone else who has not got effected by what you have stated, is just plain lucky. I myself am skinney as a rail and I very rarely get headaches. Again, I'm not dubting your word, but it's almost like lead have gotten more potent in some strange way, since Aprill 22, 2010.

To this day, I don't know of, or have heard of, one contractor who has gotten sick or hauled off in an ambulance due to lead dust.

By the way, this would be a good time to ask this question. I used to use actual Lead in sheet form. I would use it for flashing around chimneys, etc, and also use it to seal joints on wooden gutters. ????
First, I've heard from many contractors who have been rushed to the doctor or had their own kid with elevated lead blood levels (from hugging their dad and got it off dad's shirt). This could be because I talk about lead a bunch between them and you don't. Not sure why the difference.

What makes you think you've been lucky (or your painter friend)? You and I've both been hit probably several times over the years. We've got a lot higher odds with things going wrong than an office worker. (more on this in a later post).
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #11
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan11 View Post
I go to the gun range, and sometimes there is lead

Should I contain the area?
From what I have read of your posts, you have not taken the RRP classes.

In my home town a decade ago the police shooting ranges made the headlines of the local paper for that very reason; excessive and unsafe amounts of lead in the air.

Further...... the bald eagles have finally come back to my area.

Now..... I could maintain; "this lead stuff is nonsense!!"
but..... has anyone noticed that the eagles are were almost gone and now that they have come back? We are talking about the decimation of a species, not losing a few IQ points.

It had to do with lead. It is bad stuff.

willy
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:33 AM   #12
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodchuck2 View Post
Amazing how a little dust can kill you but myself and friends who used suck and chew on lead sinkers as kids were never harmed. Some of these kids even swollowed them by accident with no issue. Cant tell you how often i smelled the fumes from smelting lead to make sinkers either when i was younger.
I can present this to a group of Interior Designers and they can immediately catch on to the difference of swallowing a lead sinker (or working with lead flashing) and breathing in dust from sanding.

Not saying Interior Designers are geniuses. Just saying us contractors have probably snorted so much lead, we have a hard time catching on.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:35 AM   #13
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan11 View Post
I go to the gun range, and sometimes there is lead

Should I contain the area?
Read about gun range instructors and lead. It's been in the news for awhile.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:42 AM   #14
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Remodeler View Post
I'm trying to sort out what everyone is saying, in a fair way, and have a question. There is obviously a good many on each side of the fence here. To the one's on the side that agree with and promote RRP, here is the question: If you have kids, would you actually live in a house that was built before 1978? As I can produce a scenerio that even scares me a little. What if you are in your say 1948 house and your wife is vacuuming and accidently chips off a piece of paint on a door casing and your little crawler picks it up.....

If you all are that concerned about adults possibly breathing some dust, what must your thoughts be on that?
I'd be concerned about my kid eating a paint chip.

Of course you will probably never know it.

I would much much much rather my kid eat a paint chip instead of getting a dose of the same level in dust form through the mouth.

I would much rather my kid get a dose of the same level in dust form through the mouth than breathing it in.

Makes a big big difference.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:56 AM   #15
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy is View Post
Good post and I agree with you in principle. I have taken the RRP lead class and recent refresher (well; may 2010).

I'd like to have the source of the info though. You got a link?

Willy
It was a HUD statement and test. Since I do clearance testing first hand ... I can see it as being so. An advantage about being a lead inspector (and contractor) ... I actually get to see the proof.

I will find the link and send it to you.

Basically, it is sanding a 1' x 1' paint layer with an XRF shot showing 1mg/cm2.

Then you wipe the whole area and send in to a lab. Reading come back around 930,000 mcg/ft2.

You have to convert mcg/ft2 to mcg/dl basing it on 5 to 6 liters of blood in the average adult.

50 mcg/dl gives the average Joe a headache (or bad constipation or etc.)

100 mcg/dl gives the average Joe the blue lips and seizures. 100+ can move it rapidly into death.

You also have to allow absorption rates for adults. What can determine the absorption rates is weight, what food you recently had and if you breathed it in or swallowed it. There are a ton of more variables, but you get the idea.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:02 PM   #16
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy is View Post
Good post and I agree with you in principle. I have taken the RRP lead class and recent refresher (well; may 2010).

I'd like to have the source of the info though. You got a link?

Willy
Found it http://www.hud.gov/offices/lead/lbp/...lines/Ch04.pdf. This gives the example. You would have to do all the calculations (which I did). I had to finally get a scientist and math guy to verify and help with the calculations. Too much lead in my past
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:06 PM   #17
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy is View Post
Further...... the bald eagles have finally come back to my area.

Now..... I could maintain; "this lead stuff is nonsense!!"
but..... has anyone noticed that the eagles are were almost gone and now that they have come back? We are talking about the decimation of a species, not losing a few IQ points.

It had to do with lead. It is bad stuff.

willy
Most of the issue with the Bald Eagles was DDT. The pesticide made the eagles shells very thin so the eggs would not hatch. Lead may not have been beneficial, but I do not believe it was the real cause of their troubles. We have them coming back in VA in a pretty big way too
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:19 PM   #18
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


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Originally Posted by s.kelly View Post
Most of the issue with the Bald Eagles was DDT. The pesticide made the eagles shells very thin so the eggs would not hatch. Lead may not have been beneficial, but I do not believe it was the real cause of their troubles. We have them coming back in VA in a pretty big way too
You are correct. Those animals of the top of the food chain tend to be affected more.
I'm not 100% wrong on this though; lead was a co-factor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bald_eagles

......."It is estimated that in the early 18th century, the Bald Eagle population was 300,000500,000,[35] but by the 1950s there were only 412 nesting pairs in the 48 contiguous states of the US. Other factors in Bald Eagle population reductions were a widespread loss of suitable habitat, as well as illegal shooting, which was described as "the leading cause of direct mortality in both adult and immature bald eagles," according to a 1978 report in the Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. In 1984, the National Wildlife Federation listed hunting, power-line electrocution, and collisions in flight as the leading causes of eagle deaths. Bald Eagle populations have also been negatively affected by oil, lead, and mercury pollution, and by human and predator intrusion.[36]"

Thank you for the correction.

Willy
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:23 PM   #19
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Just an added thought.

You guys do understand when you say a house has lead based paint, it could be on the exterior and none in the interior?

Or on a radiator or door and none on the walls, trim and etc.

That the North East you have a higher chance of finding lead based paint in a 1950 home, while in the South West it could be pretty rare?

One contractor could work decades without ever actually disturbing lead based paint, while another contractor could be disturbing lead based paint on 3 houses in a row.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:25 PM   #20
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Re: How Much Lead Does It Take


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy is View Post
From what I have read of your posts, you have not taken the RRP classes.

In my home town a decade ago the police shooting ranges made the headlines of the local paper for that very reason; excessive and unsafe amounts of lead in the air.

Further...... the bald eagles have finally come back to my area.

Now..... I could maintain; "this lead stuff is nonsense!!"
but..... has anyone noticed that the eagles are were almost gone and now that they have come back? We are talking about the decimation of a species, not losing a few IQ points.

It had to do with lead. It is bad stuff.

willy
No I haven't taken the RRP course because I will not be working on pre 78' homes.

Are you trying to correlate a connection between the eagles returning and lead here?

Lead is not bad, per se, it is still being mined and used for various reasons.


Below is a list of uses from wikipedia
Quote:
Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shots, weights, as part of solders, pewters, fusible alloys and as a radiation shield. Lead has the highest atomic number of all of the stable elements, although the next higher element, bismuth, has a half-life that is so long (much longer than the age of the universe) that it can be considered stable. Its four stable isotopes have 82 protons, a magic number in the nuclear shell model of atomic nuclei.

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