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Lead

NOTE:  Janus Corporation does not currently provide residential services.

What is lead?

Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used for many years in products found in and around our homes. Lead was used as a pigment and drying agent in "alkyd" oil based paint. Lead may cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death.

Since the 1980's, EPA and its federal partners have phased out lead in gasoline, reduced lead in drinking water, reduced lead in industrial air pollution, and banned or limited lead used in consumer products, including residential paint.

Why is it dangerous?

Too much lead in the human body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system, and red blood cells. Lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning for children and can also affect adults.

In children:
  • Lead poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage and can impair mental functioning.
  • It can retard mental and physical development and reduce attention span. It can also retard fetal development even at extremely low levels of lead.
  • A dose of lead that would have little effect on an adult can have a big effect on a small body.
In adults:
  • It can cause irritability.
  • Poor muscle coordination.
  • Nerve damage to the sense organs and nerves controlling the body.
  • Lead poisoning may also cause problems with reproduction (such as a decreased sperm count).
  • It may also increase blood pressure.
  • Young children, fetuses, infants, and adults with high blood pressure are the most vulnerable to the effects of lead.
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