The Dangers of Lead Based Paint in Older Properties

lead paint dangers

What you need to know!

Lead is a dangerous substance which was common in paint produced before 1970. Often found on window frames, doors, skirting boards, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, exterior walls, interior walls gutters, metal surfaces and fascia on buildings built before 1970.

Exposure to small particles of lead based paint flakes and dust can pose a risk to your health, as lead is easily absorbed and stored by your tissue, blood and bones. Exposure can cause health problems such as anemia, weakness, kidney damage, brain damage, and may even cause death.

While many owners of older properties are aware of asbestos and its dangers, very few are aware of lead based paint, which is concerning!

People can often live or work in a property with lead based paint and not be affected until they perform renovations or cleaning of a surface with the toxic substance. However, young children may be more at risk. Their curious nature makes them more likely to be touching contaminated areas, and then placing their hands in their mouth. They can absorb and retain up to 60% of the lead they swallow, compared to 10% for adults. Children have even been known to receive lead poisoning from the work clothes of their parents.

If pregnant women are exposed to lead, it can affect their unborn child’s nervous system or cause a miscarriage.

While testing kits are available to determine the presence of lead in paint, they’re not always accurate. If your property was constructed in the 1970’s or before, always assume that lead based paint is present.  If unsure, contact a qualified expert to test the paint, conduct the necessary maintenance and dispose of the waste responsibly.

Lead paint poses a serious risk when performing graffiti and stain removal. We come across this situation regularly and have developed a process to handle the risk with care. Professionals understand that when performing work on paint surfaces containing lead, it’s not just about looking after your own health, you must ensure that the surface doesn’t become agitated and that flakes of paint or bi-product do not come off the surface.

To achieve this result we have devised a way of removing graffiti and other harsh stains from hard surfaces without using abrasive methods. By carefully breaking down the molecular structure of the stain and drawing it to the surface, we can remove the stain and leave the paint intact.

Systems such as this have led to us becoming the first graffiti and stain removal company to achieve accreditation to International ISO standards. These include OH&S Management – AS/NZS 4801, Risk Management – ISO 31000, Environmental Management – ISO 14001 and Quality Management – ISO 9001.

Before commencing a job, a risk report is conducted which identifies risks such as lead based paint and outlines correct procedures to handle the risk safely. Unfortunately, this level of risk analysis is rare in the building cleaning industry. There is little regulation, and there are unscrupulous contractors performing work which risks the safety of property inhabitants.

Find out more about our graffiti removal services or the dangers of lead based paint.

Request an appointment to have graffiti or other stains safely removed from your property.