Run by

The LEAD Group Inc
The Lead Education and Abatement Design Group
Working to eliminate lead poisoning globally and to protect the
environment from lead in all its uses: past, current and new uses
ABN 25 819 463 114
Australians! Take action
today. Is lead harming
you & your kids? Buy low
cost, NATA accredited
laboratory lead test kits
Sample your dust,
soil, water, paint, toys,
jewellery, ceramics
what's new 

Water Lead test Kits

Proceeds from our DIY Home Lead Assessment kit sales go towards the
Keeping Australian Lead Out of Leaded Petrol Initiative.

About Us | bell system lead poisoning | Contact Us | Council LEAD Project | egroups | Library - Fact Sheets | Home Page | Media Releases
| Q & A | Referral lists | Reports | Site Map | Slide Shows - Films | Subscription | Useful Links |  Search this Site

The Importance of the Availability of "Spot Tests" for Lead in Paint


Update 17 December 2007

This fact sheet has been written by the Global Lead Advice & Support Service (GLASS) in response to the hundreds of requests and complaints we receive each year regarding the lack of warnings about the hazards of lead in pre-1970 house-paint. Our callers are at odds to understand this lack of warnings in the very places where people go to buy the equipment to remove paint, and are often especially distressed to have not been told that you can test for lead in paint. Once informed, people are usually quite willing to test for lead in paint before it is removed or the surface is prepared for re-painting.

The Global Lead Advice & Support Service has received over 56,500 calls since June 1995, mostly via our free call 1800 626 086 so we have had the opportunity to talk to a good many people about lead hazards and ways of dealing with them. The consistent message we hear from:

  • paediatricians treating whole families of lead poisoned children, 

  • do-it-yourself renovators who just discovered their sanding or heat gunning has poisoned themselves or their children or pets, 

  • painters who have failed to do a lead-safe paint removal job and are now faced with the clean-up, 

is that if the hardware store or paint trade centre staff had warned them about lead - then they would have known in time to do something about it.

The feedback is not all bad. We also take calls from very grateful renovators who tell us that if the staff at their local hardware store had not noticed they were buying a heat gun or dry sanding equipment and suggested that they purchase a spot test kit to determine first whether the paint contained lead, they would never have known. Customers are even more impressed if they are handed a free booklet on lead safe renovation - it shows that the staff care and it leaves the customer, as our callers report, with the sense that someone is looking after them.

The booklet - "Lead Alert: The 6 Step Guide to Painting your Home" is available free and in bulk by phoning Environment Australia on 1800 803 772. They come in boxes of 80 booklets, delivered free!

"STEP ONE" of the 6 Steps is "BEFORE YOU START, FIND OUT HOW MUCH LEAD IS IN YOUR PAINT" either by using a spot test kit, hiring a portable XRF operator (only available in Sydney) or finding a laboratory in the Yellow Pages. By far the easiest to achieve of these three methods is the spot test kit - if the kits are available at the local store. The test kits are usually cheaper than XRF testing and always cheaper than laboratory analysis, so people are more inclined to use them - if they are available.

Many of our callers complain that store staff simply said they had never heard of the test kits, or that they had run out of stock and not been re-ordered, leaving the customer unsatisfied.

Who Imports Lead Spot Test Kits
into Australia?

Lead Check test kits (colour changes to pink or red to indicate lead) are imported by:

Who Supplies Australian-made Lead Spot Test Kits in Bulk for Paint Contractors?

  • Master Painters Australia (colour changes to black to indicate lead so test kits should only be used by someone trained to both handle the reagent safely and interpret the colour change - hundreds of tests per pack) - Phone 02 9746 2477.

What Else can be done to Raise Awareness About Lead AND Sell More Safety Equipment?

The federal Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) has also produced a colourful poster that has the heading "Painting an older home? Does your old paint contain lead? Lead is a health hazard", then simply says "Phone 1800 803 772 or ask at your hardware store for a The Six Step Guide To Painting Your Home." These free posters can also be obtained by phoning 1800 803 772 – the Community Information Unit.

The customer who sees this poster in their hardware or paint store (because it is displayed prominently in a logical placement next to the heatguns, dry sanders and scrapers etc) would have nothing to complain about, especially if the staff are also trained to notice when people are purchasing the equipment most likely to release large volumes of toxic lead fumes or dust or paint chips. And to ask the potential purchaser whether the building they are about to work on is older than 1970. If the building is older than 1970, staff then have the perfect opportunity to suggest the purchase of a lead spot test kit and hand over a free booklet.

The customer who has been looked after by being given a free booklet on lead paint removal is the kind of customer who is more likely to return to the store and to purchase items such as more spot test kits and P1 or P2 masks or dual filter respirators, spray water bottles and wet/dry sandpaper or sanding sponges for wet hand sanding, thick plastic sheeting and masking tape to collect paint debris wet-scraped from surfaces, liquid sugar soap, paint strippers, gloves, mop buckets, lots of sponges, good squeegee mops, etc, etc.

  Further information and referrals

If you or your customers have further enquiries about safe lead paint management (or indeed any lead-related hobby or activity for which supplies might be purchased at a hardware or paint store) then please contact the Global Lead Advice and Support Service. The Dulux Customer Inquiry Line staff automatically refer callers who ask about lead or old paint to our service. We can provide callers with advice and information as well as referrals to painters in states where contractors have been trained to manage lead paint. After the paint removal or preparation work is done, we can sell them a DIY-sampling kit for testing lead in dust or soil in order to determine whether the home is safe for children to reside in once more.

Impress your customers by helping them get the information they need before it's too late!

The LEAD Group Inc. Fact Sheet Index

NSW Lead Reference Centre and NSW Government Publications On this site

  1. About the Global Lead Advice and Support Service (GLASS)

  2. Main Sources of Lead

  3. How Would You Know If You or Your Child Was lead poisoned?

  4. Lead aware housekeeping

  5. Ceiling dust & lead poisoning

  6. Is your yard lead safe?

  7. Health Impacts of lead poisoning

  8. Rotary Questionnaire

  9. Lead poisoned Pets and Your Family

  10. Childhood Lead Poisoning Risk Factor Questionnaire

  11. Is Your Child Safe From Lead? - What Can You Do About Lead?

  12. Lead in Drinking Water in Australia

  13. Have We Really Resolved The Lead Issue?

  14. The Importance of the Availability of "Spot Tests" for Lead in Paint

  15. Pregnant or Planning a Pregnancy

  16. Breastfeeding and Lead

  17. Lead in breast milk

  18. Beware The Lead In Lead Lighting

  19. Renting and Lead

  20. What to do if you have too much lead in your tank water

  21. Lead Contamination in Stormwater

  22. Contamination At Shooting Ranges

  23. Banned: Leaded Wick Candles

  24. Lead, Ageing and Death

  25. Metal miniatures: How to minimise the risks of lead poisoning and contamination

  26. 7 Point Plan for the MANAGEMENT OF LEAD by Australian parents and carers

  27. Countries where Leaded Petrol is Possibly Still Sold for Road Use, As at 17th June 2011

  28. Lead Poisoning And The Brain - Cognitive Deficits And Mental Illness

  29. Facts and Firsts of Lead

  30. Lead mining royalties by state and territory

  31. Lead Mining Stewardship - Grey Lead and the Role of The LEAD Group

  32. Preventative Strategies of The LEAD Group

  33. What do Doctors need to do about Lead?

  34. A Naturopath's Experience Of Lead & People With Diagnosed Mental Illness

  35. Case File: Helping Manage Australian Lead in Petrol - How GLASS Works

  36. Glass Web & Service-Users, Experts & Volunteers, by Country; Countries with Leaded Petrol for Road Use & Worst Pollution

  37. Lead in ceiling dust

  38. Lead paint & ceiling dust management - how to do it lead-safely

  39. Esperance parliamentary inquiry follow-up factsheet: Where to from Here??

  40. Broken Hill lead miners factsheet 1893 with Note 20081015

  41. Helping a Doctor Help 35,000 Lead-Poisoned People Around the Lead Smelter at La Oroya in Peru
    Ayuda a un doctor que ayuda 35,000 personas envenenadas por plomo alrededor de la fundidora de plomo en la Oroya-Peru

  42. Fact sheet for Australian toy importers and traders

  43. Iron Nutrition & Lead Toxicity
    Informe de Acciones – Hierro y Plomo en la Nutrición

  44. Sanitarium-Are You getting Enough Iron

  45. Do-It-Yourself-Lead-Safe-Test-Kits-flyer

  46. Blood lead testing: who to test, when, and how to respond to the result

  47. Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 µg/dL and below 10 µg/dL to both adults and children

  48. Lead Exposure & Alzheimer’s Disease: Is There A Link?

  49. In CHINA - Blood lead testing: who to test, when, and how to respond to the result

  50. Why you should have your ceiling dust removed before you take advantage of the Australian government's Energy Efficient Homes Package: Insulation Program

  51. Alperstein et al Lead Alert - A Guide For Health Professionals 1994

  52. Ceiling Dust WorkCover Guide Lee Schreiber Final Nov 1999

  53. What can I do about climate change AND lead?

  54. The Need for Expert Clinical Assessments in Diagnosis Of Heavy Metal Poisoning

  55. Why you should have your ceiling dust removed before you have insulation installed

  56. Thirty Thought-Starters on Ceiling Void Dust in Homes

  57. Pectin: Panacea for both lead poisoning and lead contamination

  58. Nutrients that reduce lead poisoning June 2010

  59. Lead poisoning and menopause

  60. Fact sheet For Schoolkids From Professor Knowlead About Lead

  61. Prevention of Exposure to Lead at Work in Indonesia

  62. Mencegah kontak dengan timbal di tempat kerja di Indonesia

  63. How to Protect Your Family from Lead in Indonesia

  64. Bagaimana melindungi keluargamu dari timbal di Indonesia

  65. Cigarette Smoking & Lead Toxicity
     صحيفة معلومات: التدخين والتسمم بالرصاص

  66. Medical Evaluation Questionnaire For Occupational Lead Exposure

  67. Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 µg/dL and below 10 µg/dL to children

  68. Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 µg/dL and below 10 µg/dL to adults

  69. Biosolids used as fertilizer in China and other countries

  70. What are the lead poisoning risks of a lead pellet, bullet or shot lodged in the body?

  71. Alcohol’s link to higher lead and iron levels

  72. USA Case Definition of Adult (including Occupational) & Child Elevated Blood Lead Levels (EBLL)

  73. Low Level Lead Exposure Harms Children - A Renewed Call for Primary Prevention

  74. Occupational Health & Safety Fact Sheet Dangers of lead for roofers

  75. Let’s Make Leaded Petrol History - Let’s Make Leaded Gasoline History

  76. Lead, Your Health & the Environment. Available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Macedonian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese 

  77. Lead Safe Housekeeping

  78. Old Lead Paint

  79. Working safely with lead

  80. A Renovator's Guide To The Dangers Of Lead (Brochure 30 pages)

  81. A Guide For Health Care Professionals (Brochure 34 pages)

  82. A Guide To Keeping Your Family Safe From Lead (Brochure 20 pages)

  83. Lead Hazard Management In Children's Services (Brochure 15 pages)

  84. A Guide To Dealing With Soil That Might Be Lead-Contaminated

  85. Exposure Assessment: Lead Neurotoxicity - Is the Center for Disease Control's goal to reduce lead below 10 µg/dl blood in all children younger than 72 months by 2010, good enough?

  86. Foods for Lead Detox - Foods which Fight Lead Poisoning
    Alimentos para la Desintoxicación de Plomo - Alimentos que Luchan contra el Envenenamiento con Plomo

  87. Veganism - How do you obtain all the nutrients from a vegan diet that are important to lead exposed individuals?

  88. Blood Lead Challenge - Take the blood lead discovery and reporting challenge;
    El Desafío del Plomo en la Sangre - Descubra el nivel de plomo en la sangre y desafíe las estadisticas;
    Défi de Plomb dans le sang - Partez à la découverte de plomb dans votre sang et informez nous:


About Us | bell system lead poisoning | Contact Us | Council LEAD Project | egroups | Library - Fact Sheets | Home Page | Media Releases
| Q & A | Referral lists | Reports | Site Map | Slide Shows - Films | Subscription | Useful Links |  Search this Site

Privacy Policy | Disclaimer

Visitor Number

Last Updated 14 March 2015
Copyright © The LEAD Group Inc. 1991- 2015
PO Box 161 Summer Hill NSW 2130 Australia
Phone: +61 2 9716 0014