Insects and Rodents
(See Chapter 9, “Insect Control, Rodent Control and Pesticides”)
Housing that was built before 1950 or renovated before 1978 typically had lead-based paint on the walls and other surfaces both inside and outside. Over time the paint has deteriorated and there are both dust-containing lead-based materials and paint chips that are readily available for young children to ingest as they crawl along floors and put their hands into their mouths. Remodeling and repainting projects are of special concern because unless precautions are taken, the amount of dust containing lead increases substantially. Lead dust spreads readily through the structure or exterior soil and is difficult to adequately clean up.
There are also some children who chew on windowsills and other objects which may contain lead. Children playing outside also can ingest lead which has contaminated the soil around the structure. Over time the lead accumulates in the child’s blood and soft tissue and creates toxic effects. The lead is very toxic to the brain, many organs and systems, and impairs neurological development.
Additional lead exposure may occur from old lead pipes or solder which is corroded by water and therefore creates additional hazards. Adults working in various industrial operations as well as in painting can bring residues of lead back to their homes on their shoes and on their clothing.