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

PDF of this file

Beware The Lead In Leadlighting

by Dr Marc Grunseit

The information in this fact sheet is intended as a guide only. No guarantee is implied that by following the suggestions contained herein, raised lead levels may not occur.

Leadlighting and Stained Glass as a homeLead Lighting hobby entails some significant risks of heavy metal poisoning by lead and other substances. These are greatest when the hobby is carried out within the living space and particularly in the presence of infants, toddlers and pregnant women.


  • Lead Calme strips are 99% pure lead.

  • Solder contains 40%-60% lead.

  • Cementing materials contain lead which is present in both wet and dry states.

  • Lead patina and polishing pastes contain lead.

  • Abrasive compounds bind the lead and carry it in dust form.

  • Solder fluxes contain acids which are particularly dangerous if inhaled.

  • Glass paints and stains contain heavy metals such as Lead, Cadmium and Selenium.

These materials present dangers if not properly handled. The greatest risks are from the passage of lead to the mouth or breathing it in when it is hot or in a dust form. Here are some suggestions on what to do and more importantly, what not to do.


  • Do not do your leadlighting in the home eg: the sunroom table or the spare room. Use a dedicated space outside the living area eg: garage, garden shed, ideally locked. Keep all your materials out of reach of children, in covered containers.

  • Wear dedicated protective clothing and old shoes which you leave in the workspace, particularly if it is dusty. Cotton gloves are a good idea when handling lead.

  • Never eat or smoke in the work area or until you have thoroughly washed your hands with an industrial strength hand cleanser and dried them on a dedicated towel.

  • When soldering, set up a draught which will blow the fumes away from you and draw fresh air from behind. Ideally, if doing a lot of soldering, install an extractor fan. Portable, desktop units are available. Gloves and a mask are advisable.

  • Cementing, cleaning and polishing should be done in a "dirty" area. The same ventilation arrangements apply as for soldering. If these are impossible, do the job outside, *in a dedicated containment area permanently fenced to keep out children and pets. Wear gloves and a (HEPA Filter) dust respirator. Wash down all residue when finished.

  • When restoring old leadlights, soak them first to minimise dust when the panels are dismantled. Wear gloves and a mask or work outside*.

  • Completed leadlight panels should not be touched, especially when freshly polished with blackening paste or when old and crumbling. Furniture should be arranged so that toddlers are unable to put their fingers or faces against the lead calmes.

  • Clean your workspace regularly with water. Do not vacuum as this only spreads the contaminated dust more effectively. Clean the handles of your tools. Try to keep the work space as neat and tidy as possible. Cover shelves and close cupboards. Leave the fewest possible open spaces which can gather dust.

  • Paints and stains should be mixed under an extractor unit until completely wet. Residue should be washed away. Contaminated rags should be separately washed, as with protective clothing, in liquid sugar soap. The washing machine should then be washed out with the sugar soap and spun before use for other clothes.

  • It is recommended that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and the parents of toddlers postpone the practice of this hobby.

Remember: You respect the glass because it is sharp and can cut you. Lead is soft and blunt, but it can kill you.

Also see D-Lead Soap and Hazards Associated with Leadlighting as a Hobby

PDF of this file

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 Nutrici�n

  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 �g/dL and below 10 �g/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 �g/dL and below 10 �g/dL to children

  68. Dangers of a blood lead level above 2 �g/dL and below 10 �g/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 �g/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 Desintoxicaci�n 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 Desaf�o del Plomo en la Sangre - Descubra el nivel de plomo en la sangre y desaf�e las estadisticas;
    D�fi de Plomb dans le sang - Partez � la d�couverte 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