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Lead Paint

Hazard Related Topics

Lead Paint is a potential hazard on construction sites. If the construction work undertaken is with a pre-1970 building be that demolition, refurbishment, maintenance, simple retro fitting or building repair the exposure risks of lead paint will be high. It may be disturbing old paint beneath that has never been stripped properly. Any disturbing of paintwork in existing buildings can create lead exposure risks. Where dust, fumes or vapour is produced by burning old lead paint in the process of demolition and dismantling, recycling of any materials containing lead -workers will be at risk. Lead is not absorbed through the skin, but enters the body through the inhalation of dust, fumes or vapours. It can be ingested if you eat, smoke or bite your nails having been exposed to dust containing lead. Poor personal hygiene may increase the risk of exposure to lead poisoning.

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

Symptoms indicating lead exposure include headaches, tiredness, irritability, constipation, nausea, stomach pains and anaemia. Continued uncontrolled exposure can cause damage to nerve and brain, kidneys and cause infertility. Unfortunately lead is a cumulative toxin and the human body cannot readily rid itself of it. Lead is stored in our teeth and bones. Blood tests indicate recent exposure to lead i.e. over the past few months but cannot necessarily be relied on to give a historic picture of lead exposure.

Further Information

The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW).