QUESTION: Is it safe for my partner to keep lead metal at home in the garage? 28/02/10 Florida, USA - United States of America
My partner is very interested in buying the lead metal. But he keeps those metal at home (the garage), I am very concerned about this, is it safe to keep the lead metal at home? is there any way to make it safer?
ANSWER: Apr 2 2010
I'm so sorry that I did not notice your email until now - when I'm leaving the office on holidays for a week!
As long as your partner ensures that no lead fumes or lead dust get on himself and thus into the house and that you and the children don't have any way of picking up lead dust in the garage, it is only your partner who should be concerned about lead exposure. Does he know that lead can be absorbed through the skin, especially when the skin is sweaty eg when lifting the heavy lead? Does he protect his skin by wearing pants, long sleeves and gloves when moving the lead? Is it really necessary for him to store lead in the garage? Surely a storage facility in an industrial area could be found?
The way for him to prove to you and to himself that he has the ability to protect himself and his family from lead is for everyone to have blood lead tests. If the results are all below 2 micrograms per decilitre, then you can celebrate and he can probably keep storing the lead in the garage. If anyone has an elevated blood lead level, I'd be re-thinking the whole scheme and testing dust wipes on the floor at the door where he walks from the garage into the house, and any other potential sources of lead in the house and your workplaces / schools / childcare centres etc.
Please see "Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 µg/dL [two micrograms per decilitre] and below 10 µg/dL to both adults and children" and "In China - Blood lead testing: who to test, when, and how to respond to the result" to understand the importance of this testing.
Following testing of dust wipes for lead, you may find it's necessary to wet-mop the floors more often or even replace carpet, if it is lead-contaminated.
I hope this helps. Please email again if you want help interpreting any test results.
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