If you think you may have found lead at home – in paint, ceiling dust or soil – it’s important to get peace of mind fast.
Airsafe can help.
With over 20 years’ experience, we’re Sydney’s most respected experts in lead identification and lead testing. You’ll get a definitive answer quickly.
Can you help me over the phone?
Sorry, our experts are unable to determine whether you’ve found lead in your home over the phone. We can only identify lead through a sample analysis.
About lead in your home
In the home environment, lead may be present in paint, ceiling dust and soil.
If your home was built before the 1980s it may contain white lead (lead carbonate) – a common white pigment used in paint before 1980 and containing more than 1% lead by weight.
Pre-1980, white lead paint was largely used on exterior surfaces, interior doors and architraves. Undercoats and primers frequently contained up to 20% lead.
Some interior walls may also feature red, yellow or orange lead-chrome pigments – although this is less common.
It’s important to remember when renovating that surfaces using lead paint are often covered with layers of more recent paint.
If your home was built from the 1980s onwards your painted surfaces are less likely to contain lead – probably less than 1% likely.
However, it’s still possible that previous owners of your house may have used industrial paints with higher concentrations of lead.
To be sure, have a sample tested by Airsafe.
Lead in dust and soil
Lead deposits can also be present in ceiling spaces and soil. This is often the result of previous renovations, but can also be due to:
- Atmospheric deposits (e.g. from previous lead petrol use)
- Residue from nearby industrial sites (e.g. smelters)
- Other lead paint removal projects nearby
Lead testing: What should I do now?
Airsafe’s rapid response lead testing process ensures you and your family are protected – fast.
Here’s what to do if you suspect you’ve got lead at home:
- Carefully collect a sample using hand tools (sample size should be 5-100g).
- Place the sample in a click lock plastic bag. You can find these at any supermarket.
- Clean your hand tools thoroughly.
- Complete this form, click "get printable version" and print out the resulting page. Then put the form and the bagged sample in an envelope.
- If you can, bring your sample in person to Airsafe at 93 Beattie Street, Balmain NSW. (Call us first on (02) 9555 9034 to let us know you’re coming.)
- If you can’t bring your sample in person, call us on (02) 9555 9034 to make other arrangements.
Lead – the facts
The good news is that lead is less dangerous than asbestos.
However, lead in any form is still toxic when ingested and inhaled. Over time, repeated inhalation or ingestion of lead dust or paint particles can result in lead poisoning.
Exposure to even low levels of lead can result in serious and irreversible health and behavioural problems, especially in young children.
For this reason, it’s important you consider lead hazard management during home renovations.
Always be careful when removing lead from the home environment. As lead inhalation or ingestion can cause potential health problems, it’s often best to contract a professional to do the work for you.
Remember, inhalation or ingestion is not only a problem for your family but also all those within the vicinity of lead removal works. Lead can also pose a risk when accidently deposited on nearby footpaths or soil where it can be potentially tracked into houses in the surrounding area and beyond.
If you need an expert, call Airsafe on (02) 9555 9034 for more advice. We work with lead removalists every day and can steer you towards a qualified professional who can get the job done quickly and safely.