I also remember the barracks I lived in had old asbestos floor tiles and the walls were covered in lead paint. They eventually renovated the barracks, and instead of getting rid of the lead paint, they just painted over it. The asbestos tiles weren't dealt with, and all they said was "just don't use a floor buffer and you'll be fine". There was also a cleaning station where we'd clean our rifles, no safety warnings or instructions were given, and we thought it was just a cleaning solution. Later we saw a warning sticker on it that said to use full eyes, face, and hand protection because the cleaning solution could cause neurological damage. Just waiting for health probelms to crop up once I'm older :/
This is actually one of the correct ways to deal with lead paint, assuming the "paint" is actually a proper encapsulant. See for example https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/lead/renovation_repa...
The EPA, for one.
The problem is inhalation of fibers, so if the fibers are not in the air and inhalable, they pose no risk.
Don't ever trust anything a real estate agent tells you, especially if that agent stands to gain financially from your actions; they are the "used car salesmen" for houses. They lie.
>only one case did another ever admit to knowing of a problem where signing off on the proper lead paint/radon/asbestos warnings.
A problem? Like the existence of them? You should test for radon before buying a house, so you'll know. I have friends who turned down a house with high levels of radon because the seller wasn't willing to negotiate for radon remediation. Lead paint isn't a concern as long as it is undisturbed, however, you need to treat every house built before 1980 as having lead paint. Asbestos? I have asbestos in my house, which was disclosed to me, but it was professionally wrapped, so safe as long as it remains so. Pretty much every house that's as old as mine contains asbestos, at least in my neighborhood. So it doesn't effect the value of it at all, as long as it's wrapped.
Same goes for old ceiling panels, often loaded with friable asbestos. An act as simple as drilling a hole, or installing new can lights can load up the room with airborne fibers if done carelessly.
Government buildings are always suspect, as they often are exempt from many building codes, including fire codes.
We lived on base for a number of years but after a while it seemed like a scam to siphon the service members' entire housing allowance. Maintenance was horrible, conditions were horrible, there were waiting lists just to get into the housing, and heavy penalties if you broke your lease early with no opportunity to negotiate out, even if the wait list was a mile long.
We ended up renting houses near the base out in town that were much cheaper and not infested with mice and cockroaches. Most people I knew who thought living in base housing was convenient and cheaper came to the same conclusion.
And not to mention the weekly inspections. There was a sergeant that used to come around the neighborhood with a ruler, measuring people's grass to ensure it was within regulated length. A friend of mine got in trouble with the first sergeant for not cutting his lawn often enough.
Well there's your problem. Old houses have lead. It should be assumed to be that way unless there's reason to believe otherwise.
It'll be another 50+yr before most lead paint is gone. The fact of the matter is that labor is expensive in this country so lead paint is rarely dealt with unless it's conveniently within the scope of other work.
I don't think this article very meaningful unless we have more data points. Is base housing more or less likely to contain lead than similiar quality housing in other cities?
Just waving your hands and walking away because it's old is a bit short sighted.
I don't think anyone would excuse an apartment building owner for renting apartments to tenants with lead painted walls, so I'm not sure why folks here think the US Army should get a free pass...
It tells me that we have no idea how dangerous things we use/make are. Killing ourselves with a paint, that's a degenerate way to live.
We did actually have lead free petrol before then in the UK and the government even made it significantly cheaper. But nobody wanted it, they chose to pay extra to put toxic lead in their cars. Damaging their engine bothered people more than damaging their kids brains (or even their own brains).
Luckily the UK was part of Europe and EU legislation resulted in leaded fuel being removed from forecourts.
So I’ll accept that lead pipes are not great but how bad is lead paint really?
Specifically, if you have lead paint underneath several layers of more modern titanium paint, what is the lead poisoning risk? I thought the more significant risk with lead paint was from paint flaking into dust, especially for painted iron which comes off as the iron rusts.
Most of the hazard of lead paint comes from kids eating paint chips in poorly maintained buildings or contractors sanding it off and contaminating the building.
Lead paint was more expensive (it was whiter), so buy an old house that was cheap for its time :)
I've lived in buildings that were condemned a year before I was living in them. I was then moved out of it because they were reclassified as condemned. Less than a year later I was moved back into it because we ran short of living space. All of this while there were huge patches of black mold on walls, in vents, and on the bed mattress themselves.
The guidance we received was to bleach everything. I'm not sure if this was done because of ignorance or more nefarious reasons. We ultimately took note of the worse rooms and avoided using them when possible.
It almost always takes the local news agency breaking a story about these condemned barracks before anything is actually done. Usually they just condemn the building again and the cycle repeats.
This was located in GA where humidity is a problem and almost entirely impossible to combat.
If I was hard pressed, I do have pictures of rooms I've lived in with patches of mold on the walls.
Reuters says "Yet it also “discourages” this type of lead-paint inspection" at the link https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/workplacehealth/ih/Pages/L...
What I've read is lead is really bad for neurological development. Isn't as bad for adult men. Acute toxicity isn't that bad. LD50 > 10000 mg/kg ( Rat ).
Two problems with lead paint is, lead is an insidious poison. The body doesn't clear lead that well and it has a long half life. So small repeated exposures cause harm.
And small children will happily eat lead paint chips. Which is an issue since lead is a neurotoxin and impairs brain development at very low levels.
A note on those limits: The medical limit is zero, and that is not fear mongering but the result of ever more results over decades of research. In a little course I took from Tuft University about drinking water one of the four weeks was dedicated to the topic "lead". Two professors, one an engineer and one a medical professor taught the course. The medical professor made that point over several lectures.
Also, from personal experience of having been diagnosed with chronic heavy metal poisoning by lab data (university clinic, researcher specialist doctor) as well as by unexpectedly amazing success of chelation treatment using DMPS and DMSA, and continuing far beyond when excretion went way below "thresholds" I too can tell you from my own experience that effects are there for extremely small quantities, just as the often population-level and statistics based research shows. My "on/off" experience for years of using chelators let me have extremely uncommon experiences. First of all, this kind of stuff is almost never diagnosed (only pretty high doses of acute poisoning are easy to test for, what is stored in the body is inaccessible to tests unless you cut a piece off of organs to send to the lab - forget blood tests, they only show what's on the move outside cells right now). Second, when people get chelators they stop when only little is excreted. From my experience that is an error, treatment should continue until the patient says there are no effects (of the treatment) any more. What remains stored in the body comes out very very slowly. Chelators only have access to extracelluar space to begin with. Something that happens to (heavy metal) chronic poisoning patients quite often is that excretion levels at first remain pretty low, or they go down quickly - but after a few months of chelation the suddenly go up, and the body starts acting funny (it starts excreting on its own). Happened to me too, after half a year of linear decrease of after-chelation measurements it suddenly went up by a factor of three, and my body became very active, lots and lots of stuff happening. For example - and I felt that because the surrounding tissue was "active" for a few weeks - a nodule I had in an enlarged thyroid as well as the enlargement itself completely disappeared. The endocrinologist who just two years before had recommended surgery was left stumbling "I'm amazed" again and again - after checking the thyroid twice with ultrasound because he could not believe it. This phenomenon shows that the body may not excrete on its own when the burden is too high.
So for me the whole discussion is quite personal, but ten years ago I would have been like everybody else, I would not have taken this whole very abstract issue seriously at all.
That there is a limit is because it is not technically possible to get to zero when there are heavy metals, or for everybody to avoid it, so the government sets a limit as a compromise between cost and what is achievable.
By the way, I had my two Italian espresso portafilter machines tested for lead. The expensive one which had everything made of copper had no lead but elevated copper (which is no big deal, copper is essential and the body has pretty good transport mechanisms, see "ceruloplasmin"). The cheaper one with brass though exceeded the drinking water limit many times! I had tested it because I wanted to sell it. It was a Rancilio Sylvia, by the way.
What is also notable that several heavy metals at once may be far more (orders of magnitude) toxic than just one. There was a lethal dose study decades ago that tested lead and mercury individually. When they combined the two lethal dose dropped to a thousandth, meaning it was a thousand times more toxic. Mercury is in our environment, especially large predator fish, and in amalgam fillings for teeth. So if somebody who is exposed to "a little bit" of mercury is also exposed to lead you can forget those official thresholds even more.
I think I actually inhaled lead paint, which caused my particular problems. Sanding old furniture without a mask, not a good idea at all. Many many years ago. Young, and had no clue what I was doing :-/
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It appears to me that no level of lead exposure is truly safe.