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QUESTION: Is there a peel-away stripper for lead paint removal and is this the safest way? - 29 Jun 2007 NSW, Australia

is there a peel-away stripper for lead paint removal and is this the safest way.

ANSWER: 29 Jun 2007

Dear Wendy,

Peel Away No. 1 is the Peel Away product usually used for removing residential lead paint, though there are other Peel Away products for specific other substrates.

I had a long talk with your father this morning about the safest ways to remove lead paint so he will now be investigating other non-methylene chloride strippers that have been specifically manufactured for lead paint removal, such as Heritage No. 1 poultice from Let's Clean in Sydney and Citristrip from The Flood Company in Newcastle. With all the chemical stripping methods, the key to safety is in using wet-sanding or water abrasive vacuum extraction equipment (only available through Let's Clean) afterwards, so that the lead in the wood grain is not released as a dust (as it would be if you used dry sanding following paint stripping).

I am very interested to know your daughter's blood heavy metal test results as he only knew that the lead levels were high. If they are above 15 micrograms per decilitre then the Public Health Unit (PHU) would normally come to the house and do a free lead assessment. Since you have already organised [several years ago] a home lead assessment by JBS Environmental, if the girls' levels are high, you might want to investigate whether the PHU would re-check the soil and dust wipe lead levels after the paint removal has been carried out - so that you know it is definitely safe for your daughters to play anywhere in the house and yard.

I will also send your our info pack on lead and nutrition but please feel free to phone or email again with any other information needs.

All the best at reducing the blood lead levels as fast as possible.

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O’Brien

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