Safe Practices Around Lead
Contractors and painters are now training to safely work in old buildings that still contain lead-based paint. Columbia's Planning and Development Department hosted a free lead training course Thursday afternoon on safe practices. Steve Singlar from a St. Louis based lead inspection company is working with local builders on how to protect themselves in old buildings with lead-paint.
"Homes built prior to 1978 may contain lead paint and that they have to keep the level of dust down to prevent lead poisoning in children and occupants and their own employees," said Singler.
Eight members of the Columbia Building Youth, an on-the-job training program took part.
"Most of the things that I've learned about lead I've known, but just the side effects; I didn't know a lot of the side effects like the decreasing of your IQ and stuff like that," said a member of CBY, Preston Pointexter.
Singlar reminded participants their job is crucial in eliminating the dangers of lead-based paint in residential and commercial structures.
"Studies have shown that remodeling and rehabbing is the greatest cause of lead poisoning in children; the dust from contractors."
There are many buildings in mid-Missouri that are more than 40 years old and many of them contain lead-based paint. The Missouri Theatre is just one of them. It was built in 1928. The floor is covered with lead-based paint.
The theatre is now undergoing a complete restoration. One worker says the process is painstakingly slow because a special crew is needed to remove lead-based paint particles and asbestos from the inside.
Singlar also says a staggering 40 percent of homes and businesses in the U.S. have lead-based paint particles. Even though lead-based paint has been banned since 1978, it still poses a health threat today.