Lead Paint

November 10, 2014

This week’s painting safety tips are all about Lead Paint.

  • In Australia, before 1970, paints containing high levels of lead were used in many houses. Exposure to lead is a health hazard. Even in small amounts such as dust or chips. Paint containing lead can be a health risk.
  • Anyone embarking on painting a house or even doing maintenance that could disturb pre-painted surfaces containing lead should avoid exposing themselves, their families, neighbours or even pets to its hazards.
  • Lead in house paint is only a problem if it is damaged or disturbed. Any surfaces painted that are in a good condition, is not flaking or chalking, or is covered by well maintained lead free paint is not a hazard in itself.
  • Lead-based paint is most likely to be found on window frames, doors, skirting boards, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, exterior walls, gutters, metal surfaces and fascias. It can also be found on interior walls, ceilings and areas with enamel paint. Pink and red primer both contain lead, so you should think twice before disturbing any surface which has had any of these paints applied.
  • Paint removal by blasting, burning, dry scraping, dry sanding and using power tools creates the most serious dangers because the particles are small enough to be inhaled or deposited in furnishings or carpet, making complete removal extremely difficult.
  • If you have any doubts, the only way to be certain that your paint does not contain lead is to have it tested.
  • Also ensure that you adhere to the correct safety guidelines when dealing with lead based paint.
  • The Australian Government has put out a good little booklet for more information – http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/publications/lead-alert-six-step-guide-painting-your-home

Happy Painting – Jonah The Painter

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