Lead General Information



What is Lead?

Lead is a metal obtained from mining lead ore, which was used in a number of forms but is most commonly found presenting a health risk in the form of lead containing paint and dust. Lead paint in Australia was starting to be phased out from the 1970s with the allowable limit of lead particles in paint down to 0.1% as of 1997.

What are the hazards of Lead?

Lead poses health risks to occupants of buildings, trade personnel, or anyone in proximity to hazardous lead materials. Lead can pose a risk to health through being inhaled via dust, fumes or swallowed through eating contaminated food or even through lead dust contaminated fingers. Untreated lead poisoning in adults, children and pets can affect all systems in the body including the central and peripheral nervous system which can be fatal. Often pets are the first to show signs of lead poisoning due to their small body size.

Common symptoms of lead poisoning include:

  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • loss of weight
  • severe abdominal pains
  • muscle weakness
  • limb paralysis
  • headaches
  • tiredness
  • irritability

Continued exposure or high levels of exposure can cause serious long term health complications such as:

  • anaemia
  • kidney damage
  • nerve and brain damage

How to deal with

Hazardous Materials

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