The problem with lead poisoning in children is that it can’t be treated, only prevented, and it can begin affecting someone during their mother’s pregnancy if she’s exposed to lead. A new study performed by lab testing service Quest Diagnostics with results announced this week shows an alarming number of kids in some parts of the country have unsafe levels of lead in their blood, and there isn’t anything that we can do about it once they’ve been exposed. [More]
Simply walking past the paint aisle at your local home improvement store is enough to make many hearts race and palms go sweaty — what with all the choices. But those walls of swatches might belie the fact that many of those paint brands are owned by the same companies — and that industry could consolidate even further now that Sherwin-Williams has agreed to put itself in the mixing stand with Valspar for $11.3 billion. [More]
Need to buy a snowblower, light bulbs, and some paint? You might figure, “Oh, I’ll just head to Home Depot (or Lowe’s, or Sears) and get it all done in the same trip.” But just because these stores all offer one-stop shopping for most home goods, price and quality of store-brand and private label products can vary greatly depending on the retailer. [More]
Many interior paints contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the form of solvents, some of which can be harmful to your health. So when a container of Dutch Boy Refresh paint proudly declares “Zero VOC,” one might reasonably think “Yay, no volatile organic compounds for me.” Well… maybe so, maybe not. [More]
While traveling you might be tempted to pick a neat piece of handmade tableware, like a bright red spoon in a Chinatown shop or a wonderfully molded Mexican jug. But besides memories, you might be bringing back home an unexpected stowaway: lead.
Benjamin Moore’s Natura paint is billed as an eco-friendly, odorless paint with no volatile organic compounds that doesn’t stink up your house while it dries. Some consumers love it, and some don’t. Bu some consumers really don’t like it, and one woman has initiated a class-action suit claiming that Natura wouldn’t dry and stunk up her house so badly that she couldn’t stay in her home.
Michael writes bought an electric paint roller to get through the huge amount of painting required to make his new house look nice. Eventually, its motor died, leaving Michael and his wife without painting power. All was not lost, however: Michael had saved the receipt, and the roller had a two-year warranty. A two-year warranty that the company stands behind. Now Michael has an even better roller, and wanted to share his experience with Consumerist.
A reader wants to know why Lowes advertises and sells gallons of house paint that aren’t full gallons. Their website says the cans are “1-Gallon.” Their receipts describe them as 1 gallon cans of paint. Even the stickers they print out and place on the lids say “One Gallon.” But Brian notes that when he brought the paint home and really looked at the cans, “One of the labels read ‘116 Fluid Ounces; 3.43 liters’, the second label read ‘126 Fluid Ounces; 3.725 Liters.'”
John at Needcoffee.com writes that he’s come to expect the occasional “damaged in transit” theft of items from packages he ships or receives, at least through the U.S Postal Service. With private carriers, however, he notes that he’s always had better luck. But last week he opened a box of DVDs shipped to him via FedEx to discover a rusty can of $5 house paint.
State Farm: This 1963 Chrysler Newport Is Not An Antique, Unless You Give It A Fresh Coat Of Paint. What?
Humphrmi’s 1963 Chrysler Newport has antique license plates, meaning he can’t drive to or from anywhere other than car shows, shops and parades; but State Farm won’t insure the car as an antique unless it gets a new coat of paint. “You have to paint the car,” they said, to avoid a 33% higher premium. Does this strike anyone else as insane?
Reader Mike is confused by this 3M Latex Paint and Odor Respirator with Valve. The front of the package lists “disposable aerosol spray paint cans” as something the mask “helps provide relief” from. However, the instructions seem to say that you shouldn’t use it with paint spray. What should he do?
Our friends at Consumer Reports tell us that even though the price of exterior paints and stains has gone up a few dollars per gallon on average from last year (due to price hikes for many of the petrochemicals that go into paint), big box stores are keeping consumers isolated from manufacturers who would love to be passing on those added costs. It may be tempting to cut costs by buying a lower quality product, but CR warns against using crappy paint. Specifically, CR suggested Behr (sold at Home Depot), Valspar (Lowe’s), and Kilz (Wal-Mart) as competitively priced paints that “ranked among the top performers.”
It’s been one hell of a morning for RC2. The manufacturer of the infamous lead-tainted Thomas & Friends toys is recalling a feeding chair that 12 kids have managed to use as a launch platform and a “Winnie-the-Pooh” potty-training chair that’s tainted with lead. Funnily enough, only the orange paint used on the “Winne-the-Pooh” plaque is tainted.
Foreign manufacturers use lead paint not because they want to poison American children, but because lead paint is, “bright, durable, flexible, fast-drying, and cheap.” The domestic use of lead paint in residences, hospitals, and children’s products was banned in 1978, though lead paint is still widely used. Slate explains:
The other great place to look is your local sanitation department. Most cities have specific divisions that deal with paints, since you can’t just toss them in a landfill. In Alameda, CA, it’s a garage full of five-gallon buckets of paint, wall to wall. They’ll just let you take what you want in most cases. They have to dispose of it somehow anyway!
Little whats-his-name will be so happy you saved money, he won’t even notice that his room is tow-zone yellow. —MEGHANN MARCO