"Massachusetts has some of the oldest houses in the country and it has the most stringent lead inspection laws," he said. "Reglazing an old tub will reseal the lead and prevent further exposure and it’s less expensive than installing a new tub."
While awareness about lead in the home has risen recently due to some highly publicized federal toy recalls, old bathtubs remain a relatively unknown source of the toxic element for many households.
"I would say about 60 to 70 percent of the tubs we see and inspect are leeching lead and the homeowners have no idea," said Rossi.
The issue of lead in bathtubs drew the attention of ABC News more than 14 years ago, when a Good Morning America segment focused on a Massachusetts couple who had exhausted all potential sources of the lead that was turning up in their daughter’s bloodstream during routine medical tests. Eventually they tested the home’s old bathtub with LeadCheck Swabs and found the tub where they bathed their daughter was leeching lead. It was a finding that surprised even the child’s doctors.
"There are many sources of lead in the average household – from toys and ceramics, to jewelry and dinnerware," said Marcia J. Stone, president and CEO of Hybrivet Systems Inc., of Natick, MA, makers of LeadCheck Swabs. "Old tubs are also a typical source but it’s one that is still unfortunately overlooked."
Most tub manufacturers stopped using lead in the enamel and glazing years ago but tubs made as recently 15 to 20 years ago typically contain lead that can leech as the glazing wears away. The inexpensive LeadCheck Swabs, sold in most retail home centers, can quickly and accurately determine if your tub is leeching lead.
Repeated lead exposure in children has been linked to learning disabilities, behavioral problems, lowered IQ and even death.
Heres what another published report had to say.......
Bathtub refinishing stops lead poisoning caused by cracked, chipped old porcelain bathtubs. Re-glazing a bathtub is one sure way to prevent lead poisoning from them. It may shock you to know that your old cracked porcelain tub may be causing lead poisoning in your children.
On April 19, 1995, ABC News on Good Morning America, confirmed and exposed for all to know that lead that leaches out from a cracked old enamel porcelain bathtub is the source of lead exposure that was responsible for lead poisoning that affected two children from Massachusetts. Even though it has been a long time since that investigative report, many old porcelain bathtubs that were built when it was in vogue to use coatings containing lead are very much around. When they get cracked, the lead is leached out.
It is also known that people that made wine, soaked them in those old porcelain bathtubs.
When cracked, these bathtubs, leach the lead that was a big part of formulated coatings used till about fifteen to twenty years ago when they were banned.
When your children bathe, play and perhaps drink the water in your old porcelain tub that is chipped, eroded or damaged, lead can sip through and contaminate the water thereby poisoning your precious ones. Children, especially those between the ages of six months and six years, are at high risk they are more likely to ingest lead particles.
The EPA estimates that more than 57 million homes in the U.S. have dangerous levels of lead. Additionally, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that almost half a million of the children that are living in the USA have levels of lead in their blood that are so high that they can cause irreversible damage to their health.
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