There’s a huge health risk to workers and the environment when blasting lead-based coatings. Workers breathe toxic lead straight into their lungs when lead-based paint is taken off and released into their air.
HOW TO DETERMINE IF COATINGS CONTAIN LEAD
As you are unable to tell if a paint is lead-based just by looking at it, there is a test that can be performed to test the lead levels in the paint coating.
The 3M™ LeadCheck™ Swabs is a test kit we recommend here at BlastOne. The Swabs are very user friendly and only takes 30 seconds to complete. You will turn on the liquid that is in the swab barrel and then swab the material or surface you want to test for lead. The rule of thumb is, RED MEANS LEAD™. This means, if the swab turns red, then there is lead in your coating.
HOW TO AVOID LEAD EXPOSURE
Making sure you protect yourself and your employees from lead exposure is important. Having the correct equipment and planning is necessary, such as:
Full Containment Encapsulation
Your workers should also always clean up prior to leaving the containment by removing all waste and dust.
Lead is extra dangerous for the body because it does not leave the body for years. Even small exposures to lead can cause lead poisoning. If you are exposed to a substantial amount of lead in less than 24 hours, it can also cause lead poisoning. Lead exposure may not just affect the person
directly exposed to it, either. If a worker keeps the same clothes on that were exposed to the lead, it could also put the health of their family in danger. It’s even scarier if there are children in their house, because lead exposure in children can affect their brain development.
Make protecting your workers from lead exposure a priority by following all regulations within the project area.