What is Lead Based Paint?
Lead is a toxic substance that can affect people of any age. It is especially harmful to children, pregnant women and unborn babies. Lead from lead based paint accumulates in your body, so even small amounts can pose a health hazard over time.
Anyone painting a house or doing maintenance that could disturb lead based paint should avoid exposing themselves and their families, neighbours and pets to its hazards.
This booklet aims to provide basic information for do-it-yourself renovators on the risks associated with lead based paint and on practical steps to keep those risks as low as possible.
Ideally, homes with paint containing lead should be assessed and re-mediated by trained professionals.
Before 1970, paints containing high levels of lead were used in many Australian houses. Exposure to lead is a health hazard. Even small amounts of dust or chips of paint containing lead, generated during minor home repairs, can be a health risk.
Anyone painting a house or doing maintenance that could disturb paint containing lead should avoid exposing themselves and their families, neighbours or pets to its hazards.
What to know before attempting a DIY!
I urge anyone attempting or considering DIY painting that could possibly need to remove lead based paint to read the following booklet issued by the Department of Environment and Energy before going ahead.
The advice in this booklet is based on the most recent research available. We recommend that you follow this advice to minimise the risks of exposure to lead in paint. We cannot guarantee that it will eliminate all risks as circumstances vary depending on the history of the house, its condition, the area to be painted and other factors.
- how to test for lead based paint;
- detailed instructions for covering the paint, or removing it by wet scraping, wet sanding, chemical stripping, or heat processes;
- the right tools and equipment;
- looking after yourself – using protective clothing (coveralls, booties, hat, gloves) and a respirator (meeting the requirements of Australian Standard 1716) when the work might involve lead-bearing dust or fumes;
- how to clean up thoroughly; and
- how to contain and dispose of all waste.
This guide also warns about the things not to do, for example:
- don’t dry sand or dry scrape or use an ordinary power sander
- don’t sandblast
- don’t work outside on a wet or windy day
- don’t use an open flame torch or high temperature heat gun
- don’t eat, smoke or drink in the work area or with contaminated hands
- don’t allow children, pregnant or nursing women in a house or area where lead-based paint is being disturbed.
If your renovation or maintenance job is big or complicated, or you cannot obtain the right equipment to undertake the work safely, call in professional help.
Even if you are calling in a professional, it is worth reading the guide to ensure that the trades person takes all the necessary precautions.
If you need any further advice or wish to abandon your DIY project and place it in the hands of a professional, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Allscale Brushworx or phone us on 0421 469 146