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QUESTION: Lead free solders, leadlight windows and pipe organ pipes, 17 Jun 2004, South Australia

I have noticed that the EC is moving to lead free solders for electronics uses. Are there moves to remove lead in other areas, such as leadlight windows and pipe organ pipes? Is the rest of the world likely to follow the EC lead?

ANSWER: 18 Jun 2004

Dear Michael,

I honestly never knew pipe organ pipes are made of lead or do you mean that they are made of leaded steel or some other alloy? Fascinating - my choir practice is in a church so I stand right next to a pipe organ every week and it never occurred to me they are the colour of lead. How did you find this out and where could I find a reference? so we can add it to our Sources of Lead fact sheet.

It seems that because Japan is also going lead free in electronics, this is pulling the US along and thus, slowly, Australia. For instance, Panasonic in Sydney has apparently gone lead free and GPC in Sydney is getting there.

I have heard of no move anywhere to legislate for lead free leadlighting though lead free leadlight does exist. I'm told by lead lighters it is an inferior product that will never replace leadlight made of lead!

It would be wonderful if you are interested in following up on research into legislation or availability of alternatives in this area as we have a page for it on our website that could really use a more concerted effort to find alternatives to lead in a range of normally leaded products. Have you ever heard of non-lead organ pipes for instance? I'd love to be able to direct our web-readers to such products on Lead-Free and Hazard Reduction Products & Services so would appreciate your assistance if you are keen.

Thanking you
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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