1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

November 22, 2008

:327 Lead in Fixtures

Filed under: :327 Lead in Fixtures — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:27 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:326 EcoTip: Brass plumbing fixtures and lead solder have frequently contained lead. When purchasing new fixtures or soldering copper joints make sure they are certified lead free. You can’t tell if a fixture has brass just by looking at it. The brass is frequently used on the inside of the fixture where it is not visible.

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 Additional Information:

To test for lead in fixtures, you can perform a duel lead test. Let the water sit in the fixture overnight then collect the first water from the tap for analysis. Collect a second sample of water after it has been allowed to run for several minutes to clear the plumbing. If the first sample has lead and the second doesn’t – then your fixtures or household plumbing are the likely culprit. If its in both samples – its likely the water supply.

National Testing Laboratories offers a duel lead water analysis kit.

Lead check swabs can be used to test plumbing solder. (see EcoTip :033)

Here’s a link to the USEPA water quality standards: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html

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November 21, 2008

:326 Lead in Water

Filed under: :326 Lead in Water — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:28 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:327 EcoTip: Lead is a heavy metal that has been used for plumbing pipes in municipal water systems. It is supposed to be phased out but can still contaminate drinking water.

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 Additional Information:

National Testing Laboratories offers water analysis for lead and other heavy metals.

Here’s a link to the USEPA water quality standards: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/contaminants/index.html

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September 8, 2008

:252 Lead and Remodeling

Filed under: :252 Lead and Remodeling — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:23 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:252 EcoTip: Homes built before 1980 may have lead in paint. The older the home the more likely the presence of lead. The greatest risk is when the lead is released by deterioration, scraping and sanding and is most dangerous for children. Based on personal experience lead poisoning is no fun for adults either. 1:5:10:365 Ecotip :033 discussed lead in toys and do-it-yourself test kits.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :033

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August 7, 2008

:220 Lead in Artificial Turf

Filed under: :220 Lead in Artificial Turf — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:50 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:220 EcoTip: I’m beginning to hear more about people choosing to replace their lawns with artificial turf. According to studies conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health and Safety Services many of the artificial turfs they have tested contain lead which may be released and cause an exposure risk. Instead of using artificial turf consider xeriscape (:166).

August 27 Update note: The lead in artificial turf controversy has taken some interesting turns. The CPSC has removed their recommendation to ban artificial turf containing lead, but one company (TenCate Thiolon Artificial Grass) has announced it has take steps to removing lead from it’s products. TenCate states:

The use of artificial turf increases the performance of athletes and reduces the risk of injuries to the player. The installation of TenCate artificial turf eliminates the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides. Artificial turf requires no mowing, fertilizing, reseeding or watering.

For more information see the second comment below with information from “The Association of Artificial & Synthetic Grass Installers”.

The locked gate of an artificial turf soccer field at Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken, N.J., is seen Thursday, April 17, 2008. This field and one at The College of New Jersey were closed because New Jersey Health Department research showed they contained up to 10 times the amount of lead allowed in soil on contaminated sites that are being redeveloped as residences.  (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :166 

Information provided by NJDHSS to CDC and ATSDR indicates that some of the fields with elevated lead in either dust and/or turf fiber samples were weathered and visibly dusty. Fields that are old, that are used frequently, and that are exposed to the weather break down into dust as the turf fibers are worn or demonstrate progressive signs of weathering, including fibers that are abraded, faded or broken. These factors should be considered when evaluating the potential for harmful lead exposures from a given field.

 General Recommendations on the Use of Fields with Artificial Turf

At this time, CDC does not yet understand the potential risks associated with exposure to dust from worn artificial turf. The following precautions can be taken to minimize any potential risk.

· Field managers should consider implementing dust-suppression measures. Suggestions for dust-suppression methods can be found at NJDHSS’s website, which is provided in the additional information section.

· Children ages 6 and younger are most susceptible to lead’s harmful health effects. To protect the public, in particular young children, consider posting signs indicating that:

1. After playing on the field, individuals are encouraged to perform aggressive hand and body washing for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water.

2. Clothes worn on the field should be taken off and turned inside out as soon as possible after using the field to avoid tracking contaminated dust to other places. In vehicles, people can sit on a large towel or blanket if it is not feasible to remove their clothes. These clothes, towels, and blankets should be washed separately and shoes worn on the field should be kept outside of the home.

3. Eating while on the field or turf product is discouraged.

4. Avoid contaminating drinking containers with dust and fibers from the field. When not drinking, close them and keep them in a bag, cooler, or other covered container on the side of the field.

For additional information about testing, dust suppression measures, and other topics related to NJDHSS’s work to address lead in artificial turf visit NJDHSS’s artificial turf website at <http://www.state.nj.us/health/artificialturf/index.shtml> http://www.state.nj.us/health/artificialturf/index.shtml.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates consumer products, including artificial turf. Additional information about CPSC and artificial turf can be found at <http://www.cpsc.gov/> http://www.cpsc.gov.

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March 26, 2008

:086 HazMat Disposal

Suggested Review – :029, :056

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:086 Tip: Every county in the U.S. is required to have a plan for household hazardous waste disposal. It may not cover every type of hazard, but most of them are addressed. So if you’ve decided to clean out that pile of unused – whatever, give your county a call first to find out what arrangements they have for disposing of it safely.

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Additional Information

Left over pesticides, herbicides, unused paints and sealants, cleaning products, auto maintenance materials and many other chemicals may be considered hazardous wastes. The label will generally tell you how they must be disposed, but not always. Appliances and electronics contain amazing amounts of hazardous waste materials. Each computer or television contains about 5 pounds of lead. Our appliances also frequently contain mercury switches or thermocouples. Some older fluorescent ballasts and appliances capacitors contain PCBs, fluorescent tubes have mercury, batteries may have lead, mercury and other toxic or hazardous chemicals.

Once you know what options your county has check in on-line at www.earth911.org and entering the item you want to get rid of and your zip code. They provide great information on how to recycle and dispose of just about every type of household hazardous waste product.

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March 13, 2008

:073 Lead in Soil

Filed under: :073 Lead in Soil — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

ca4antls.jpg

Credit: NORTH CAROLINA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE 

Suggested Review – none

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:073 Tip: Gardening in soil near buildings with lead based paint can result in the heavy metal being concentrated in the plant. Soil should be checked before planting edible plants near buildings with possible lead paint.

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Additional Information

The University of Minnesota has information about recognizing and dealing with lead in soil at: http://134.84.92.126/distribution/horticulture/DG2543.html

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February 4, 2008

:035 Furniture with Lead

Suggested Review – :033, :034

Today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet is about lead in our furnishings.

1:5:10:035 Tip:  Lead is being used in foreign countries to dye leather. Most of the leather being used in the US today is imported. Lead based paints and stains are also found in furniture finishes and is especially common on painted antiques. Furnishings with lead on the surface finish may be screened using the lead test kits discussed in :033. In some materials such as leather the lead is released by perspiration and may not be detected by this method. The swabs are a screening tool only and also does not answer the question about how much lead is present.

As with building paint (:034) a small chip of the material or slice of the leather can be submitted for laboratory analysis. The sample can usually be collected from a hidden location such as the underside of a sofa or chair.

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Additional Information

Analysis of the lead samples can be arranged by contacting one of our sponsors: Restoration Consultants http://www.restconenvironmental.com/

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February 2, 2008

:033 Toys and Lead

Filed under: :033 Toys and Lead — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Suggested Review – none

Today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet is about lead in toys.

trains-lead-cpsc.jpg

source: Consumer Product Safety Council - Toys recalled for lead. www.cpsc.gov

1:5:10:033 Tip: Toys and other materials can be inexpensively screened for lead based paint by using a do-it-yourself lead check kit. The swabs only identify exposed lead. It is possible that the lead may be present but not identified if a sealant coat is present on top of the lead based paint and it may not detect low levels of lead.

This means a test may come back negatively but lead still be present and cause problems if a child chews through the sealant coating.

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Additional Information

Swabs for checking for lead are available at most paint and hardware stores or on the Internet.

A single swab can be used for testing several items as long as the results are negative. A positive result turns the swab pink or red. A new swab would then need to be used for testing additional items.

To effectively test all layers it would be necessary to nick the surface coating to expose lower levels. This of course damages the finish.

 Each different color should be tested since a mixture of lead-free and lead based paints may have been used.

According to a CPSC study only about half the do-it-yourself tests identified lead in toys correctly. CPSC recommends laboratory testing only – however this destroys the toy. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08038.html

It is my opinion that many of the false tests were because the lead paint had a surface coating that prevented the reaction. Some may have been negative since the swabs will not test as low a level as laboratory analysis.

False positive tests can occur when the paint transfers to the swab (most common when testing red paint).

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