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QUESTION: Please get a blood lead test before deciding to continue copper foiling or lead lighting 05 Mar 2008 Queensland, Australia

Hello

I was just reading the lead action news vol 4 no 1 summer 1996 on hazards. I've only just started lead lighting well more so copper foiling. While reading the article on hazards you mentioned that if we had young children or were pregnant that we should stay clear of lead lighting. I would like to know more about the hazards of being pregnant as I am 6 months pregnant and enjoy this hobby and would like to know ways to make it more safer for me to still continue lead lighting and what risks /hazards there is as I have just started in the last year an a half and what the safety measures are as I never did any classes on lead lighting or copper foiling. I have learnt off my mother in law.

Kind Regards Tara

ANSWER: 05 Mar 2008

Dear Tara,

We know so much more about the dangers of even low blood lead levels than we knew in 1996 so the advice to steer clear of lead lighting while pregnant is even more critical in this information-rich era. At the very least, I would strongly advise that before making a decision about whether to continue your hobbies, you should ask the GP for a blood lead test. I will send you information which will help you to work out the risks inherent for you and the baby in your particular blood lead level. You or your doctor can also phone me once you know the result, in order to discuss your best options.

To answer your questions about safety measures, please see "Beware the Lead in Lead lighting" but most of all, be guided by your blood lead level. I would recommend that you only continue a lead-using hobby if your blood lead level is below 2 g/dL (2 micrograms per decilitre) if you want to totally minimise the risk of harm now and especially in the future, from lead. It sounds as though your mother-in-law should also request a blood lead test from her doctor.

Kind regards
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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