Lead metal poses health risks to building occupants, trade personnel and lead process employees and can be found in older commercial, industrial and residential buildings in the form of lead paint or lead based paint, coating products or in workplaces where lead processes are involved as lead dust and/or lead fumes. Lead poisoning affects virtually every system in the body including the central and peripheral nervous systems, kidneys and blood. Lead accumulates in a person’s body throughout his or her lifetime and stored mostly in the bones.
Lead Based Paint Hazards
Were used in many Australian residential and commercial buildings prior to 1970 and later years in industrial paint applications. Small amounts of dust or chips of paint containing lead, generated during minor building repairs, can be a health risk. Lead in paint can be a problem if it is damaged or disturbed. Paint in good condition that is not flaking or chalking, or is covered by well maintained lead free paint is not a hazard in itself. Lead can also be a hazard when it is on surfaces subject to friction or impact such as windows and doors, or on railings where children or pets can chew it. Residues from lead based paint can lead to high concentrations of lead in garden soils and floor surfaces in older properties.
Lead Dust Hazards
Lead dust can be found in buildings which are not regularly cleaned at levels sometimes hazardous posing a risk to health. The source of lead dust includes: