On the lookout for lead
Lead is one of those toxic substances that have been around for a long time. We all know that it can be hazardous but compared to other potentially dangerous materials, such as asbestos, lead is often overlooked, if never quite forgotten. The risks posed by lead are considerable, however, and lead poisoning can cause a catalogue of problems, including damage to the central nervous system, kidney problems, and stunted growth in children. Lead is also known to harm our ability to reproduce and has been linked to a reduced sperm count in men. Last but not least, lead is considered a likely carcinogen.
The dangers of lead paint are well documented and its use in paints intended for domestic application is prohibited in the UK. EU regulations covering its use are also enforceable. The problem is that lead paint can still be found in older properties and the older your home is, the more likely it is that lead paint is present, possibly covered by several coats of newer paint. Lead paint can be found on wood, metal, vinyl, and plastic. If you suspect that you have lead paint in your home, school, office or other building, it’s important that you get specialists to carry out lead paint testing.
Children at risk
Areas to look out for, especially if you have toddlers or small children in the house, are places where the old paint is often thicker, such as skirting boards, doors, or areas where the paint has run. These can be easily knocked by children or pets, releasing lead dust into the air. They can also pull off bits of paint to chew. Lead actually tastes quite sweet, so appeals to youngsters.
Remove or replace
Lead surveys are a legal requirement on commercial projects where paint is likely to be disturbed, irrespective of the age of the building. We offer a lead testing service to domestic and commercial properties. After obtaining a sample, we’ll test for the presence of lead and if it is found, we’ll advise on the most appropriate remedial measures. This may include complete removal of all lead paint and replacing it with modern paint, or rendering it harmless.