Expert Paint Testing and Analysis | National Coverage

Hazardous Substances and Environments

Paint Testing and Analysis

Lead in paint can pose a particular hazard when refurbishing and demolishing older buildings.

Up until the mid 1960s lead based paints were in common usage. White lead was added as a pigment to paints used in undercoat and top coat for use on wood and metal, used internally and externally. Red lead was widely used as an anti-corrosive primer coating for many types of steel work, including fences, railings, gates and structural elements.

UK regulations allow the manufacture and use of lead paint (containing white lead), but in controlled and special circumstances for the redecoration of Grade I and II * (Categories A, B and C(S) in Scotland) listed historic buildings. Strict regulations apply to its use. The general sale of lead paint in the UK is prohibited under these regulations.

UK regulations also require that any specifier or employer must avoid foreseeable risks to the health and safety of an employee, combat these risks and protect any person associated with or who may be affected by the work being done.

The removal of old paint layers can generate large amounts of dust, with are seriously harmful if ingested or inhaled. Inappropriate preparation and removal of surfaces containing old lead paint, during renovation and repainting work, can create an additional source of lead-containing dusts and fumes.

Ask to speak to one of our specialist consultants – 0345 5040 303


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How we can help

We are able to provide a trusted paint testing service that includes sampling and analysis to determine levels of lead in samples. Our experienced staff can visit site to carry out a survey of the paint systems present and take the appropriate samples for analysis. Providing you with important information will give you peace of mind and allow you to undertake any appropriate measures with your existing paint work.

There is no specific limit for lead in paint but, for guidance, the HSE Control of Lead at Work Regulations, 2002, Section 65, classes lead contents of less than 1% Pb as being in a category where work with lead is not liable to result in significant exposure.


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