Lead poisoning is the number one preventable health hazard for children in America. Lead has been found in household paint, in vinyl miniblinds, and in household dust. In addition, a little known fact is that many fixtures, such as bathtubs, contain as much as 88% lead in the glaze. In fact, in April of 1995, Good Morning America presented a segment which showed that as late as 1995 some manufacturers were continuing to use the poisonous substance in the glaze for their cast iron, porcelain, and steel enamel tubs.
Claude Limoges, president of American Lead Consultants, a national franchise company which specializes in the inspection of homes for lead, said, "we find lead in the tubs 50% of the time, when we inspect an older home, and we almost always test the tub for lead. In many cases, the enamel is cracking and it is clear that the lead is leaching into the water when a bath is drawn. This can be very dangerous for a child who is bathed in that tub. Especially for children who are under the age of 7. In other situations, due to the hardness of the water, or the use of harsh detergents, the enamel finish is worn down, and even though no perceptable cracks are there, the lead can still get into the water in which the child is bathed, or can be picked up by the child simply playing in the tub, touching the tub surface, and placing his hand into his mouth".
It has been reported by the North American Refinisher's Association that a study conducted by Unique Refinishers of Atlanta, GA revealed taht 64% of 600 tubs that were tested had leachable lead on the surface.
Money. Simply put, lead is inexpensive, it is durable, and it can be fired at lower tempratures. All of these result in a higher profit margin for the tub manufacturer -- all at the expense of our children's safety.
If you suspect that the tubs in your home contain lead, you should have them tested. You can do this in the first instance by using a home testing kit, which can be bought at many child safety stores. These can also be ordered on line from HybrVet Systems, Inc. Or you can call 800-LEAD-FYI to find a location near you to order these. In addition, if your children are under the age of 7, and you suspect that lead is present in your home, it is a good idea to consult you pediatrician regarding have their blood tested for lead. If lead is present in an abnormal level, then it is important to identify the source of the lead, and to keep the child away from that source.
This informational piece was prepared by Silverman & Fodera. If you would like more information on this topic, call us at (800) 220-LAW1, or use the "Do I Have A Case?" link on this web site.