The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW) places a duty on employers to prevent, or where this is not reasonably practicable, to control employee exposure to lead. Most lead-based paint in the United Kingdom was banned from sale to the general public in 1992, apart from for specialist uses. In the UK it was common to add substantial amounts of white lead as the main pigment in white paints up until the early 1960s. The main use for this paint was as a primer or top coat over metal and wood, both internally and externally, on a range of items such as skirting boards, doors, door frames, stairs, banisters, window frames and sills, wooden flooring, radiators, and pipes, though it could also have been applied to any other surface at this time e.g. plaster walls. Red Lead was also commonly used to paint metalwork.
In 1992 European Union legislation was implemented within the UK which prevented the addition of white lead to almost all paints except those intended for use in historic buildings and as artwork. It is a legal requirement to have a lead on all commercial projects wherever paintwork is liable to be disturbed, regardless of the age or type of building or structure involved. The majority of all old paintwork is likely to have a lead content and the older the paintwork the higher that lead content is likely to be, whatever the surface: timber, metal, plaster, plasterboard, tile or masonry.
Lead paint becomes a risk when it is damaged or disturbed and is inhaled or ingested. Lead poisoning symptoms may include abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, irritability, memory problems, inability to have children, and tingling in the hands and feet. It causes almost 10% of intellectual disability of otherwise unknown cause and can result in behavioural problems. Some of the effects are permanent. In severe cases anaemia, seizures, coma, or death may occur. Exposure to lead can occur by contaminated air, water, dust, food, or consumer products. Children are at greater risk as they are more likely to put objects in their mouth such as those that contain lead paint and absorb a greater proportion of the lead that they eat.
It is essential that Lead paint is removed before it can cause harm to anyone. TFM take pride in providing a high standard of professionalism and expertise in the removal of lead paint. We have taken on a number of projects recently in London where we have developed our skills and expanded our knowledge. This has allowed us to become one of top lead paint abatement specialist in the UK, and we ensure that the job is carried under thorough inspection and have air quality tests from start to finish to ensure that there is no risk of harm to any person or the environment.