NATICK, Mass., June 16 For years, Joe Rossi, the presidentof European Coatings Inc. in Holbrook, NY, couldn't figure out why his companysold more products to professional bathtub reglazers in Massachusetts than inany other area of the country.
"It's a nice problem to have," says Rossi. "Massachusetts is our topmarket for tub reglazing."
Rossi now believes awareness about old tubs that can leech dangerouslevels of lead is the reason for the boom in sales to the Bay State.
"Massachusetts has some of the oldest houses in the country and it has themost stringent lead inspection laws," he said. "Reglazing an old tub willreseal the lead and prevent further exposure and it's less expensive thaninstalling a new tub."
While awareness about lead in the home has risen recently due to somehighly publicized federal toy recalls, old bathtubs remain a relativelyunknown source of the toxic element for many households.
"I would say about 60 to 70 percent of the tubs we see and inspect areleeching lead and the homeowners have no idea," said Rossi.
The issue of lead in bathtubs drew the attention of ABC News more than 14years ago, when a Good Morning America segment focused on a Massachusettscouple who had exhausted all potential sources of the lead that was turning upin their daughter's bloodstream during routine medical tests. Eventually theytested the home's old bathtub with LeadCheck(R) Swabs and found the tub wherethey bathed their daughter was leeching lead. It was a finding that surprisedeven the child's doctors.
"There are many sources of lead in the average household - from toys andceramics, to jewelry and dinnerware," said Marcia J. Stone, president and CEOof Hybrivet Systems Inc., of Natick, MA, makers of LeadCheck(R) Swabs. "Oldtubs are also a typical source but it's one that is still unfortunatelyoverlooked."
Most tub manufacturers stopped using lead in the enamel and glazing yearsago but tubs made as recently 15 to 20 years ago typically contain lead thatcan leech as the glazing wears away. The inexpensive LeadCheck(R) Swabs, soldin most retail home centers, can quickly and accurately determine if your tubis leeching lead.
Repeated lead exposure in children has been linked to learningdisabilities, behavioral problems, lowered IQ and even death.http://www.leadcheck.com
SOURCE Hybrivet Systems Inc.