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QUESTION: Should I be testing the house for lead and getting a blood test after renovating 12 months ago? 23/07/10  New South Wales, Australia

Hi there,

I have renovated my pre 1970's home and been living in it for 12 months. I've only recently come across the risk of lead paint. We stripped the walls which had pinkish underlay and am now very concerned for our health, as we did the renovations. The walls are now all painted. Should i be testing the house for lead and getting a blood test.

Thanks

Helen.

ANSWER: Jul 23 2010

Dear Helen,

yes, but in the other order. I recommend you ask the doctor for a blood lead test for yourself and anyone else who may have been exposed to the lead paint dust or flakes or lead-contaminated soil. It's important to test everyone but especially young children who should be tested even if you don't test yourself. Your own blood lead result is not a surrogate for a child's blood lead result. If anyone  has a blood lead result higher than 2 micrograms per decilitre, THEN we recommend you test dust wipes (floors and windowsills) and soil samples if relevant. Our kits are perfect for such home lead assessments but the advantage of getting the blood lead results first (apart from answering your question about whether you've been affected by the lead in your paint) is that, worst case scenario, if anyone has a blood lead result above 15 micrograms per decilitre, then the NSW Health Dept would be notified by the lab and would come out to the house and do a free home lead assessment for you.

Please let me know all your blood lead results so I can give more specific follow-up advice.

Cheers

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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