Lead Paint Sampling
The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW) place a duty on employers to prevent, or where this is not reasonably practicable, to control employee exposure to lead. We can survey and test for the presence of lead in paints.
Most lead-based paint in the United Kingdom was banned from sale to the general public in 1992, apart from for specialist uses.
Until the early 1960s white lead was added in substantial quantities as the main white pigment in some paint products intended for use as a primer or top coat over metal and wood, both internally and externally. Examples of where this type of paint may have been used are skirting boards, doors, door frames, stairs, banisters, window frames and sills, wooden flooring, radiators, and pipes, though it could also have been applied to any other surface at this time e.g. plaster walls.Other lead paints such as Red Lead were also commonly used to paint metalwork.
In 1992 European Union legislation was implemented within the UK by the Environmental Protection part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), as the Controls on Injurious Substances Regulations. This prevented the addition of white lead to almost all paints except those intended for use in historic buildings and as artwork.
Lead surveys are a legal requirement for all commercial projects wherever paintwork is liable to be disturbed, regardless of the age or type of building or structure involved.
Most old paintwork is likely to have a lead content and the older the paintwork the higher that lead content is likely to be, whatever the surface: timber, metal, plaster, plasterboard, tile or masonry.
Homes and schools are no different and should be treated with particular care given the likely presence of young children and women of reproductive capacity, who may also be pregnant, during any lead exposure risk works.
Lead paint only becomes an exposure risk when it is damaged or disturbed. It is only by inhaling or ingesting lead paint chips, and lead dust or fume that exposure occurs.
Lead poisoning symptoms may include abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, irritability, memory problems, inability to have children, and tingling in the hands and feet. It causes almost 10% of intellectual disability of otherwise unknown cause and can result in behavioural problems. Some of the effects are permanent. In severe cases anaemia, seizures, coma, or death may occur. Exposure to lead can occur by contaminated air, water, dust, food, or consumer products. Children are at greater risk as they are more likely to put objects in their mouth such as those that contain lead paint and absorb a greater proportion of the lead that they eat.
Allium will survey your premises for lead paints and following Laboratory analysis will confirm the presence and concentration of any lead in paint, to enable a safe system of work to be developed to reduce or prevent lead exposure.