Lead in ceilings: What are the dangers, and what should you do?

lead in ceiling dust

If you live in an older house, chances are that over the decades, dust has accumulated in your ceiling cavity.

There's also a good chance that this dust contains lead.

Lead in ceiling dust can come from various sources, including:

  • petrol exhaust emissions
  • wood or coal burning fallout
  • detritus from old renovations (for instance the removal of lead-based paint)
  • industrial debris from power stations, incinerators, and other sources

As you may know, even small concentrations of lead can be dangerous, especially to young children.

So what should you do about possible lead dust in your ceiling?

Get a lead sample tested

If you suspect there might be lead in your ceiling dust, a good first step is to get a sample tested to find out if lead is present, and if so, in what concentration.

Airsafe offers NATA accredited testing for lead. Find out how to get a sample tested.

If we do find lead, we'll give you sound advice about what to do next.

Lead dust may not pose a risk

Just because you have lead dust in your ceiling, that doesn't necessarily mean it's posing a risk to your family. There are two situations, however, where you do need to take action:

  • If you're planning renovations that will disturb the ceiling dust, like adding an extension or skylight
  • If there's a chance dust might be leaking from your ceiling
How do you know if dust is leaking from your ceiling? You'll often see black dust trails around cracks, cornices or ceiling roses. But the best way to know for sure is to engage Airsafe for a hazardous materials inspection.

If you need ceiling dust removed

If you do need to remove dust from your ceiling, we strongly advise you against doing it yourself.

Instead, give Airsafe a call on (02) 9555 9034. We'll recommend a professional dust removalist who will take the proper precautions, including HEPA air filtration, and safe entry and exit to the ceiling that avoids further contamination.

Don't put your children at risk: if you think you might be dealing with lead, get expert advice.

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