Lead in paint

Lead is a highly toxic metal, pre-1960s white lead (lead carbonate) was the principal white pigment in primers and topcoats applied to wooden surface inside and outside homes and other buildings. Lead-based paints were widely used on many features of buildings including; doors, architraves, downpipes, window frames and sills, stairs and railings, skirting boards, weatherboards, door frames, barge boards and radiators.

Exposure to lead from paint can occur during the removal of lead-based paint as a result of inhaling dust/fume generated from the removal process or swallowing paint chips.

Elevated blood lead levels are associated with a range of adverse health effects including; fatigue, stomach ache, headache, anaemia, irritability, depression, decreased libido and forgetfulness with high levels of exposure leading to loss of coordination, convulsions, paralysis, coma and death.

Children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning. Adverse effects on the intellectual and behavioural development of children have been reported at relatively low levels of exposure, sometimes as a result of exposure to leaded paint in house dust.

In the UK, regulations now prohibit the use of lead paint in domestic properties, but leaded paint may still be present in houses built before the early 1990s. This is a particular hazard for those engaged in renovating older properties. Before any work is carried out on old painted surface, the lead content should be established.

The IOM can analyse paint fragments for lead content and advise on the best approach to take if lead is present. Complete the quick quote form below. 

Further information can be found here;