Depressing news for those you who love old bathtubs. In fact, I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love a deep, solid porcelain tub, especially the ones with little feet or fancy faucets. But guess what! They are full of lead! I’m not kidding. We’ve been soaking ourselves in these gorgeous tubs and getting a max whop of lead exposure in the process.

Studies have found high levels of lead that trace back to bathtubs and this is not a fluke, it appeared in a number of cases. There was even one where a middle aged man underwent personality changes, becoming irritable, aggressive and paranoid. The doctors discovered that he also had short term memory loss, abdominal pain and constipation. All of these are classic symptoms of serious lead poisoning. It turns out he was drinking wine made from grapes that had soaked in a bathtub with a lead enamel glaze.

So, yes, it’s in the glaze and not just the porcelain. But what is a cool porcelain tub without that high, shiny glaze? But there were more cases, not just this one and some of them involved kids who bathed in the tubs. So it’s time to chuck the old tub or at least test it for lead. You can get swabs to do the test at Lead Check . You can, in fact, get all sorts of chemical and metal testing kits at this same site. So check it out.

And if your bathtub tests postive for lead in the glaze, the first thing you want to do is stop using it. Lead poisoning is serious and is especially harmful for elderly folk and children, just the age groups who like to take baths. Force your children to take showers and then take steps to have your problem fixed. You do not have to throw the bathtub out, in fact, this is not recommended. Lead is dangerous, even in the landfill. You should have the tub “encapsulated”, a process that only involves refinishing with a special primer and finishing coat. Once this new finish dries, it seals the lead in and prevents it from leaching, even in hot water. Then, and only then, should you let your children or parents get back in the tub for a bath. You can check out this process and read a lot more about the problem at Gemini Tub Repair . To buy diy kits to refinish the tub yourself, at great savings and does not require much expertise, go online to Refinishing Online and find out what you need to do it.

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