Although lead-based paint was banned from new buildings starting in 1978, the impact of the buildings painted with lead-based paint before the ban continue to impact the lives of those who inhabit and work within them. It is extremely important to keep yourself protected when working with lead-based paint because the health effects of such exposure could be devastating.
Raul Rivas, an Oakland resident and painter, was recently diagnosed with high blood-lead content in 2010. Unfortunately his daughter was given the same diagnosis as well. It’s not too surprising when most homes in San Francisco and Alameda County were built before 1978, when lead-based paint was banned.
Rivas painted and remodeled homes for 20 years and he says nobody ever told him to protect himself when doing so. When he was diagnosed with high blood-lead levels the state agency began to investigate his employer. According to his story, Rivas was then fired from his job. Rivas sued the company (Winning Colors’) for wrongful termination but eventually settled for $5,500.