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A question you may have asked over again is; can air purifiers remove lead dust? I’ve decided to beam my searchlight on this in this article.
Lead dust is known to be a harmful environmental pollutant causing lead poisoning. Here, you learn all there is to be known about lead poisoning.
The presence of lead in your house, office, or any other space can be caused by several factors including;
- A deteriorating or peeling lead-based paint,
- It can also be tracked into the home on clothing or other materials exposed to lead, etc.
Note: lead can not be seen by the naked eye hence special cleaning methods are required to rid the atmosphere of this harmful dust.
Removing lead dust is very important due to the health risks it poses to everyone, especially kids who inhale it.
Using an air purifier would be worth your money as it is one of the best ways to remove lead dust in homes. The High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) purifiers are some of the best available.
The Risk Lead Poisoning Poses
There is lead poisoning when a person ingests lead; breathing in dust that contains lead can also result in lead poisoning.
Its effects are serious – it can cause brain, system, organ, and nerve damage, and its effects are more fatal in children and pregnant women.
For adults, lead poisoning can result in the following;
- Fertility problems in men and women
- High blood pressure
- Memory loss
- Brain and kidney damage
- Muscle and joint pain
As lead cannot be seen with the naked eye, testing for its presence becomes important.
You can opt for professional lead testing where samples from your home are tested at an accredited lab (this is considered the most accurate lead testing method and safest too).
Or you can opt for DIY lead test kits which are more affordable.
Where Does Lead Dust Come From?
Lead in a home should be a major concern. Lead dust usually comes from:
- Peeling or deteriorating lead-based paint
- From painted surfaces in homes like windows, doors, etc.
- During the renovation, remodeling, or repairing activities
- When it is tracked into the house on clothing from an exposure to lead – this can be from a shooting range using lead-based ammunition.
- It can also be found in water pipes and canned food
- Children’s toys
- Painted ceramic dishware
Note: lead dust would kick into the air whenever it is disturbed, this could be when paint rubs against each other or the splintering of lead ammunition
It is normal for an environment to be contaminated by lead caused majorly by human activities.
Lead dust from a demolition site can travel as far as 400 feet away from its initial source or site.
Can Air Purifier Remove Lead Dust?
Do you wonder do air purifiers remove lead dust? Dealing with lead in the atmosphere alone may do little to nothing in solving the problem if the source is not handled.
This is why it is important to also know effective ways of cleaning lead dust from surfaces.
These methods include wet washing, special vacuum cleaning, and regular washing
This is considered the best method to clean up lead dust. It simply involves washing surfaces such as window sills, walls, floors, door frames, etc.
It is simple if the following steps are followed:
Step #1: Get Two Buckets
Get two buckets, one of them will contain a cleaning solution (detergent can suffice), the other clean water for rinsing (ensure either bucket is easily distinguishable.
Also, use a waterproof, chemical-resistant rubber glove – this is meant to keep contact with lead minimal). It is also best that children are kept away while cleaning happens.
Step #2: Pick up Debris
Windowsills, walls, door frames, and floor surfaces may carry debris and paint chips.
Pick them up and dispose of them in a double-thick garbage bag and seal (this should also be kept away from kids)
Step #3: Wash the Surface Using a Cleaning Solution
Now using the cleaning solution in bucket one, wash the surfaces. Do not use the same disposable towels for washing and rinsing
Step #4: Rinse the Surface
With a different towel and the second bucket with clean water rinse the washed surface.
Step: #5: Dispose of the Towels
Once done, dispose of the towels used as well into the garbage bag.
Step #6: Check for spills
Do well to check that there is no spill from the garbage bag before disposing of it properly.
Special Vacuum Cleaning
There are special vacuum cleaners designed to pick and clean up lead in households.
Our conventional vacuum cleaners wouldn’t be effective against lead. It will only blow up lead dust-up where people will eventually breathe it in.
These vacuum cleaners are referred to as High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA) vacuums built with a special filter for this purpose.
Also, the wet/dry vacuum cleaner can be used in the wet mode setting to effectively remove lead.
When using this, ensure there is at least up to two inches of water at the bottom of the canister. The water is simply to hold the lead dust.
This simply involves washing or cleaning surfaces and everyday household items used, children’s toys inclusive.
Endeavor to wash any item that falls on the floor before reusing.
This reduces the risk of ingesting lead if such an item goes into the mouth or has contact with lead when it is handled.
Getting the Air Rid of Lead. Can Air Purifiers Remove Lead Dust?
We have little to no control over the particulate matter, vaporous chemicals, and volatile organic compounds that filter into the atmosphere around our homes due to human activities around us.
However, it is important that the air breathed is taken good care of. Air purifiers will come in handy here; it is a handy tool and a must-have home appliance.
An air purifier is a device that works to remove contaminants from the air within a room improving the quality of air circulated.
Note: Unlike filters that remove particles, air purifiers work by sanitizing the air which usually contains pollutants, allergens, and toxins.
Whilst air purifiers are effective, they will work better when combined with a filter, a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to be precise.
HEPA filters attached to an air purifier will help to also remove:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander etc.
Some of the best air purifiers available include the Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifier, Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier with Allergen Remover, Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier.
Are There Other Methods to Prevent/Reduce Lead Dust?
Do I need to sound again how dangerous lead dust is to us?
It has never been child friendly, nor has it been a close companion to any adult. Like a trojan horse, it will destroy after coming in harmlessly.
That being said, there are other methods to reduce or prevent lead dust altogether (if it is absent then it cannot harm); the methods include: fixing peeling or chipped paint, don’t track it into the house.
Fix Peeling/Chipped Paint
Before 1978, lead-based paint was the in-vogue thing, the best thing since the discovery of chocolate cake.
Lead-based paint was used for every home during this period.
However, with a series of renovations and repainting, the original paint may be buried under layers of newer paint.
There is usually no problem when the paint surface is clean and in good condition.
It will become a hazard once it begins to peel off or there is even the slightest scratch on the surface.
Once you notice chipped or peeling surfaces, cover with duct tape or contact paper to impede further deterioration.
Reduce Tracking Lead Dust from Outside
Understandably, the presence of lead in the home may not be because there is a source of lead dust within.
It may be tracked by kids playing with soil, or by adults from a construction site, the possibilities are endless.
Reduce this, discourage kids from playing on bare soil, or plant shrubs to cover it up.
You can also use mulch or wood chips to cover up bare soil. Shoes can be left outside, hands must be properly washed once inside as well.
I believe that your question of can air purifiers remove lead dust has been answered.
Lead dust should never be taken lightly, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible. Investing in an air purifier is indeed a smart idea.