Lead, which can come from many everday activities, can be harmful to you and your children.
If you live in an older property, the wood and metal trim surfaces may have been decorated, in the past, with an old type of paint that contained lead.
In the UK, lead is no longer used in household paints: household paints are free from any added lead.
This article tells you how to safely remove old paint that may contain lead.
DON'T burn off old paint with a blow lamp or gas torch as this causes fumes when the paint is burnt. Protective mask and goggles must be worn
DON'T rub down with dry sandpaper, as this will put lead-rich dust into the air and around the house.
DON'T use a normal vacuum cleaner to clean up because the filters are not fine enough to retain the lead dust so you will just circulate the dust around the room.
DON'T use any paints containing lead on children's toys, cots, highchairs or any other surface within reach of children.
Too much lead is harmful
In everyday life, anybody can come into contact with articles and materials that contain lead. The most common source is dust contaminated by car exhaust and industrial emissions. By following normal hygiene practices in the home, such as ensuring that children wash their hands and faces before eating, you can help to minimise the risk.
Lead in old paint
If you live in a property that is pre 1960, the trim surfaces (e.g. doors, windows and skirting boards) may have been painted with a very old type of undercoat and gloss paint that was made with lead pigments.
The metalwork in more recent buildings may have been coated with a special lead-containing metal primer. If in any doubt, follow the simple advice given in this information leaflet on how to prepare the surfaces safely.
Redecorating surfaces, that already have lead-containing paint on them, is not dangerous providing they are properly prepared.
If the paint is flaking and peeling badly, and you want to do the work yourself, then follow the simple advice given in this information leaflet. Alternatively, employ the services of a reputable professional decorator who will know how to remove and dispose of it safely.