25 March 2013
Paying attention to lead safety

Lead has been banned from household paints since the late '70s, but in a business like ours that involves home repairs and upgrades every working day, you''re bound to encounter a lot of lead-based paint. ABE Doors and Windows is not a lead-abatement company, but we are trained and careful in dealing with this lingering household risk.

ABE personnel have been through third-party training leading to certification in lead safety. The company itself is also certified. We comply with the RRP rule (renovation/repair/painting) of the U.S. Environomental Protection Agency whenever we replace windows or doors in a pre-1978 house. Our skilled personnel will test for lead and use lead-safe practices to contain any dust if the older paints are identified.

This is very much on our minds just now, because March is National Poison Prevention Month. It's a good time to give some thought to the poisoning dangers that lurk in anyone's house. Of course, any old painted surfaces, especially if they're chipped, peeling or flaking, should be looked at by an abatement specialist. But there's much more to be done to protect your family. Here's a short list:

- Make sure all drugs, paints, cleaners, pesticides and other toxic household products are properly labeled and stored out of the reach of children.
- Properly dispose of these items when they're past their expiration dates. Check with your local municipality to find out how.
- Whenever possible, keep medicines and other potentially toxic substances in their original containers. Never store inedible products in food or beverage containers.
- Teach kids not to eat or drink anything unless it's given to them by an adult they know, and don't call drugs "candy."
- Whenever you take medicine, replace the safety cap immediately.

And finally, post this number where you can find it at a moment's notice: 1-800-222-1222. That's the hotline for the Poison Control Center, an excellent source for lifesaving information if you suspect that someone's swallowed something toxic.