Historically, lead based paints have been used extensively in NZ properties, and Worksafe suggest it is reasonable to assume that properties built in or before the 1980's are likely to have had these paints used in or on them to some degree. Lead is toxic to humans, and lead based paints are an important potential source of lead exposure for people living in homes where it has been used.
Analytica has accredited testing methods that allow you to measure the amount of lead present in samples, so that the risk of exposure to lead can be assessed.
Lead In Paint Flakes
Flakes of paint can be collected either from damaged paint that is cracking and falling off, or by scraping a painted surface to check the contents of the various layers of paint there. The results will allow you to understand whether paint that is falling off a surface presents a risk to those living in or around the property, or whether there is a risk to be managed if paint is to be removed from a surface as part of a renovation.
A sample size of 0.5 g is required, which will be analysed for lead concentration. Turn around time for results is typically 3 working days from sample receipt.
Lead In Surface Wipes
We will supply a kit which includes a packaged and pre-moistened 'Ghost Wipe', and a sample container to place the used wipe in following sampling. This test allows you to understand whether there are significant residues of lead on interior surfaces of homes (window sills, benches, etc). Lead on these surfaces can arise from particles of dust from sanding back paint, or from contaminated soil on the outside of a property which (over time) has carried into a home on feet, shoes, plants, etc.
The Ghost Wipe is used to wipe a surface (or surfaces) of interest, and is then sent to the laboratory for analysis. A turn around time of 5 working days from sample receipt is typical.
Lead In Soils
In properties where lead based paints have been used on outside surfaces, there can often be a build up of lead contamination in the soils around the property from paint dust and flakes that have fallen on to the ground due to paint deterioration or surface preparation prior to painting. This can be an important indicator of risk on the property as these soils may be used for growing edible plants, children may eat the soils while playing outside, and the soils may turn to dust during dry weather and find their way inside the property on feet and shoes, or blown by the wind.
Samples of soil may be collected from locations of interest around the property, and submitted for analysis. Turn around time is typically 3 working days from sample receipt.
Worksafe information about managing lead based paint can be found on the Worksafe website.
Ministry of Health information about the potential impact of lead on human health, and some risk management strategies, can be found on the Ministry of Health website.