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QUESTION: Is there dangerous lead in modern motor car sump oil? 30/10/12 Victoria, Australia

Is there dangerous lead in modern motor car sump oil? I wish to paint a fence.

ANSWER: Nov 29 2012

Dear Ed,

Apologies for this late reply as there is only one lead advisor in our organisation.

Lead can be found naturally in crude oil, therefore, there will be  concentrations of lead in modern motor car sump oil. If the motor vehicle  from which the used sump oil was taken was ever fuelled by leaded petrol,  then there will also be lead contamination in the oil from that source.  As for the dangers, you should note that all products containing lead are  harmful to human health. When you paint a fence with modern motor car sump  oil, some oil will volatilise causing air pollution and there is a risk that it might  burn down, hence releasing oil and lead into the atmosphere or the rainwater  may take the sump oil into stormwater. Is there a problem with using exterior  paint? We've gone to a lot of trouble to ensure there's no lead added to paint  in Australia since 2010 so that everyone can be lead-safe.

Thank you.

Elizabeth O'Brien

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