Lead in your home and workplace
Sources of lead include
- interior and exterior paint in homes built before 1970
- lead dust in ceiling cavities, carpets, furniture and in other places where dust tends to accumulate, and in the soil around the home – some of this dust may be from before the 1980s when petrol contained high levels of lead
- lead fumes from the use of tools such as a heat gun or soldering iron to heat up a lead surface
- lead water pipes, leadlight windows, PVC products, lead sheeting and paints in various products
- workers in a lead industry bringing dust home on clothes or tools which can contaminate a home and family
- hobbies involving working with lead or lead paint which can accidently expose you or others to lead
Lead fact sheets
These fact sheets provide general guidance to people encountering lead in their environment.
- Fact sheet: Lead, your health and the environment (PDF 499KB)
- Fact sheet: Lead safety at home (PDF 436KB)
- Fact sheet: Old lead paint (PDF 477KB)
- Fact sheet: Lead and home renovations (PDF 457KB)
- Fact sheet: Lead in ceiling dust (PDF 528KB)
- Fact sheet: Working safely with lead (PDF 224KB)
- Fact sheet: Lead hazard management in children’s services (PDF 351KB)
- Fact sheet: Lead, your health and the environment – Arabic (PDF 1MB)
- Fact sheet: Old lead paint – Arabic (PDF 1.2MB)
- Fact sheet: Lead and home renovations – Arabic (PDF 1.2MB)
- Fact sheet: Lead, your health and the environment – Chinese (PDF 1.3MB)
- Fact sheet: Old lead paint – Chinese (PDF 1.3MB)
- Fact sheet: Lead and home renovations – Chinese (PDF 1.2MB)
The advice in this series is based on the most recent research available. We recommend you follow this advice to minimise the risks of exposure to lead in the home. We cannot guarantee that it will eliminate all risks as circumstances vary depending on the history of the house, its condition, the area to be painted and other factors.
The Broken Hill Environmental Lead Program, in partnership with the EPA and NSW Health, has developed the Lead Smart website to let Broken Hill residents and the NSW community know about the local lead issue, how and where children get exposed to lead, things carers and children can do to minimise lead exposure, and the importance of blood lead screening for children under 5.
- Download Build smart: Renovating and maintenance
- View the Broken Hill Environmental Lead Program Steering Committee Annual Report 2015-2016.
- Lead exposure in children: information prepared by NSW Health Department on the health risks of lead exposure focused on children.
- Lead information: the Australian Department of the Environment website provides information relating to lead and various topics such as renovation, your health, marine paints, pottery and recreational activities, as well as a guide to renovating your home safe from lead risk.
- Lead in house paint: the Australian Department of the Environment website provides information on lead in house paint including the dangers, how to avoid lead risk and what is being done.
- The Lead Education and Abatement Design Group: The LEAD group provides services both nationally and internationally including telephone advice, awareness raising, the development of a ceiling dust removal industry in Australia, the development of a comprehensive lead library and assisting in lead environmental policy development.
- US EPA lead information: The US EPA lead website provides overseas information on lead issues, science and technology as well as overseas laws and regulations.
- Lead Safe World www.leadsafeworld.com/shop
- Managing individual exposure to lead in Australia: The Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council guide for health practitioners to manage individual exposure to lead.
- Lead Alert: The six step guide to painting your home
- DIY Safe: The NSW Health Department website provides useful information to enable householders to sensibly and safely manage the risks arising from lead in and around their homes.
- Lead risk at work: The SafeWork NSW website provides information regarding exposure to lead in your workplace.
- The National Painting and Decorating Institute have developed a series of lead safety training videos including
- Podcast Lead Poisoning: a silent epidemic: the ABC radio background briefing program on lead poisoning during an increase in home renovations during the Queensland floods in 2012.