WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH LEAD?
- Creates developmental issues in children which persist for a lifetime — compromises IQ
- Lead persists in bones for 17 to 25 years
- Chronic lead poisoning can kill
WHO IS AT RISK?
- Children between 9 months and 2 years old are at greatest risk
- Children with a habit of eating non-food items (PICA habits)
- All occupants of a property that’s been renovated without considering lead risk
WHICH PROPERTIES ARE AT RISK?
- Lead was removed as an additive in paint in 1965
- All properties built before 1965 are at heightened risk of containing lead paint
- Chipped or flaking paint presents the greatest risk
- Contamination of soil is possible – particularly where paint condition is poor or renovations did not minimise and collect dust
WHAT CAN I DO TO MANAGE THE RISK?
- Keep paint that may contain lead in good condition — prevention is better than a cure!
WHEN RENOVATING DO:
- Minimise the amount of paint removed
- Use an approach to stripping paint that minimises the dust produced
- Collect all paint chips/prevent paint chips from entering the living environment
WHEN RENOVATING DO NOT:
- Sand the paint
- Waterblast the paint
- Use a blow torch or heat gun to help strip the paint
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF?
When buying a house built before 1965
- Test for lead as part of your due diligence
- What is the condition of the paint? Poor condition = higher risk
- If renovated, find out how the renovation was completed — is there possible soil/dust risk?
When renovating properties built before 1965
- Assume paint is lead based and adjust approach accordingly (an expensive option)
- Test for lead and confirm the lead status of the painted surfaces prior to commencing work
(a low-cost way of confirming level of risk)