When most people think about lead, they don’t immediately consider the health implications, but it is important, particularly in older cities like Michigan City. Yes, lead is a naturally occurring element found in soil and has many different uses. But it is also surprisingly toxic in relatively small quantities. This is amplified further with chronic, continuous exposure because lead is slow to leave the body, building up over time.
Sources of Lead
Lead was commonly used in a variety of products. Namely in paint until the late 1970s, in pipes until 1986, and in gasoline until 1996. These each represent a different exposure pathway and potential source of lead in both residential and commercial structures.
- Lead Based Paint – Paint can flake off over time, getting mixed with soil or get picked up by dust entering the air. This can lead to chronic and acute exposure.
- Lead Pipes – Lead can enter drinking water, leading to chronic exposure
- Lead in Gasoline – Spilled or leaking gasoline can enter the soil and potentially leach to groundwater. This can lead to chronic and acute exposure.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you are a property owner or looking at purchasing a property built before 1980, it is good to conduct a lead assessment on the property. Lead assessments can take several forms, but the initial step is visually identifying any potentially lead containing materials. Further evaluation of soil, paint, or drinking water may be warranted.
Further assessment typically takes the form of destructive sampling. This means directly sampling the suspect lead containing compounds – like paint or soil. If lead-containing products are identified, they will need to be appropriately removed and disposed of. This needs to be conducted under the oversight of a certified professional.
How We Can Help
Being based in Indiana, we have extensive experience in the Michigan City area, and our Certified Hazardous Materials Managers have relationships with local regulatory bodies and disposal facilities. This helps us streamline the lead assessment and remediation process and provide a simple turn-key solution for local customers. Don’t let lead contamination go under your radar. Deal with it now to eliminate future issues down the line.