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  QUESTION: Actions following stripping some old paint in house, 19 Oct 2005, Tennessee USA

I have been heat stripping some old paint in my house. I assume that it is lead based. Do the fumes remain in the house. I have a strong taste of metal in my mouth. We use good ventilation and respirators. I am concerned that there is residue in the house even though I am finished stripping. Please give advice.

Thank you for your time.

ANSWER: 19 Oct 2005

I would highly advise you to take a blood lead test to see if you have been exposed to any sources of lead.

Blood lead is most effectively measured in venous blood taken with lead-free equipment. Capillary or finger-prick samples may be contaminated by lead on the skin. Hair and urine testing are not recommended due to the potential for contamination from environmental sources.

I also urge you to take samples of dust around the home to test for lead exposure. This test should give an indication as to whether there was efficient ventilation. Please see the fact sheet from the US Environmental Protection Agency at www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadtest.pdf. This fact sheet outlines some issues concerning lead poisoning and lead-based paints.

Regards,
Shahilla
Volunteer Information Officer

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Last Updated 06 July 2012
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