LEAD BASED PAINT
Lead is a heavy metal. Since the days of the Roman Empire, civilizations have used lead. Because lead is easily obtainable, easy to shape and work with, and has other beneficial properties, civilizations have used lead since the days of the Roman Empire. The first plumbing system, the Roman Empire's aqueduct system was made from lead. Early paints, particularly red and blue pigments, contained lead; its addition to the paint helped the paint maintain its color, resisting bleaching over centuries. This ability to hold color, combined with lead's moisture-and-mildew-resisting property and it's flexibility over temperature changes made it a popular additive to paint until the 1970's.
Some metals, like iron and copper, are necessary to good health. Heavy metals, like lead and mercury, however, are toxic to the human body and, depending on the dose and the duration of the exposure, can have serious consequences including leading to coma or even death. Lead is particularly dangerous for infants and children resulting in developmental deficiencies.
There are two ways to permanently remove lead based paint. One method of Lead Removal is Paint Removal. This is usually the most technically difficult method of abatement and has a higher potential for the creation of toxic lead dust than other lead abatement methods.
Another method of removing lead based paint is Component Replacement. Like paint removal, this is a permanent method of abatement where the risk of future lead exposure is eliminated. Unlike removing paint from a substrate, replacing the component has a much lower potential for the creation of toxic lead dust.
A non-permanent method of abatement, which lowers the potential for lead exposure and is generally accomplished with a minimal risk of creating toxic lead dust is Encapsulation. This method requires that a substrate be rendered intact (remove any loose or flaking paint) before a special liquid paint-like material to encapsulate and seal the lead-based paint. This is a specialty paint - encapsulation cannot be accomplished using regular paint.
Another non-permanent method of abatement is Enclosure. This abatement method involves the installation of a rigid barrier around a surface coated with lead-based paint. An example of enclosure would be installing a sheet-rock wall over plaster coated with lead-based paint.
At times, lead based paint, although present, may not pose a risk of exposure. If no renovation or demolition activities are planned that might impact surfaces coated with lead-based paint there might not be a need to conduct lead abatement. The painted surfaces can simply be monitored for changes in condition of the paint and managed in place.
Based on your situation, Paint Removal, Component Replacement, Encapsulation, Enclosure, or Management might be the best fit. ENCO will take the time to listen to your concerns and your project goals. With this in mind, we will recommend the best solution based on our decades of experience. The choice is yours. We will never push a service that is not correct for your individual situation.