Vintage clawfoot bathtubs may look nice inside your bathroom, but most of these bathtubs contain lead that can harmful to your health. Most types of claw-footed bath tubs are made of cast iron and porcelain finish. In the earlier days, manufacturers mix lead into the cast iron and porcelain finish to help make the tub look glossy and aesthetically appealing. When the tub is filled with water, lead may leak out from the walls and floors of the tub and mix with your bathwater. Bathing in lead contaminated water is harmful for both children and adults. Below are some of the dangers of lead exposure.
Dangers of Lead Exposure among Children
Many parents are not aware that their children are exposed to lead every time they put them inside their vintage craw footed bath. Splashing water contaminated with lead can pose serious dangers especially to you children. Note that the pores of out skin opens up when we are exposed to warm water so lead contaminated water can easily be absorbed by our skin.
Young children are more likely to ingest water from the tub while bathing so their danger of lead exposure multiplies. Moreover, some children tend to place their mouths on the edge of the tub while taking a bath so they end up licking the surface of the tub. If the tub is leaking lead, these children may ingest the lead directly and get sick.
Childhood disorders such as inefficient muscle and bone growth, learning disabilities, speech problems, poor motor skills, kidney damage and others are often associated with lead exposure. Learning disabilities and speech problems have been one of the main problems found in kids exposed to lead so if you do not want to your kid to end up handicapped, you should test your tub for lead first before you let your kids use it.
Aside from mental and physical disabilities, lead can also cause life threatening diseases among children. Some serious childhood ailments including severe anemia and muscular degeneration have also been traced back to lead exposure. To avoid these problems, you should trade off your craw-footed bathtub with a more child-friendly tub.
Consequences of Lead Exposure among Adults
Children are not the only ones who are at risk of health problems due to lead exposure. Even adults you spend a lot of time bathing inside a lead contaminated tub can suffer from serious disorders including nervous disorders, body pains especially about the joints, muscular degeneration, infertility and others. Pregnant women who were exposed to lead may give birth to babies with genetic defects and some of these women may even have stillborn babies.
Ideally, you need to throw away your old tub to get rid of the lead. However, if you do not have the heart to get rid of your vintage tub, you best option is to have your tub refinished. By encapsulating your tub with waterproof finishing, you may be able to contain the lead and prevent it from leaking into your water. However, you should never take things for granted and have your tub tested for lead from time to time to make sure that it is safe to use.