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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

29 Jan 2016
Some types of paint – particularly old gloss paint found mainly on metalwork and in pre-war buildings – may contain lead as a pigment. But properly handled, paintwork with lead need not be a danger. 

If you encounter old paint and think that it may contain lead, you can buy a lead test kit from www.thermo.com/niton or www.ustech.co.za, alternatively you can contact the Medical Research Council of South Africa. 

What to do next? If the surface is good and common sense tells you it is not posing a threat to health, you can simply paint over it thereby sealing it in. Alternatively you may decide that the paint should be removed. In a brochure released today the Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation, is suggesting the following Dos and Don’ts: 

  • Don’t use a hot air paint stripper or blowlamp on the paint.
  • Don’t rub it down with dry sandpaper – especially with a power sander.
  • Don’t allow pregnant women, children or pets near the work area.
  • Do remove all furniture before commencing work and cover floor and exposed surfaces with plastic sheeting to collect paint debris.
  • Do wear a respirator that meets the requirements of Australian Standard 1716.
  • Do rub down wet, using waterproof paper or use a chemical stripper.
  • Do wash and keep painting clothes separately from other clothes.
  • Do shower or wash hands thoroughly, directly after finishing work.
  • Do hire an industrial vacuum cleaner with micron sized filters to clean up or have carpets steam cleaned after removing paint.
  • Do hire an industrial vacuum cleaner with micron sized filters to clean up or have carpets steam cleaned after removing paint.
  • Do dispose of paint debris safely – Not by burning.
! Further advice about the effects of lead and how to deal with it can be obtained from SAPMA
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