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QUESTION: Are leadlight kitchen cupboards safe on either side of the cook top? 04 Apr 2008 NSW, Australia

We are building a new home and have ordered leadlight windows for kitchen cupboards on either side of the cook top.

I just came across the article on your website that leadlight kitchen cupboards may not be a good idea due to lead poisoning in the long run.

I would appreciate if you can enlighten me on this and if you send me a email asap. The cupboards are in the process of making and I would like to have a reply from you at your earliest.

Thank you

Roshanie Fonseka‍

ANSWER: 04 Apr 2008

Dear Roshanie,

Yes, I'm glad you found that quote ["The doctor/leadlighter referred to under Subject 2 - Lead Hobbyists, considers it best not to have leadlight in kitchen cupboards" at lanv4n1/lanv4n1-8.html] and hopefully it is not too late for you to either cancel the order or put the leadlight cupboards elsewhere, out of the reach of young children.

You have to respect the opinion of a guy who is a professional leadlighter and previously was a GP [Dr Marc Grunseit].

Why take the risk if it can be avoided altogether? Stained or patterned glass bordered by wood can be just as beautiful without any risks. I would advise anyone who already has leadlight in their kitchen cupboards

 to ask the GP to do blood lead tests on the whole family, especially the crawling baby if there is one! Then they can figure out, if any of the results are elevated, where the lead is coming from (there's usually more than one source). If after testing dust fall on the floor or bench or shelf below the leadlight they find that the leadlight is their major source of lead, they then have the expense of replacing the leadlights with non-leaded kitchen cupboard doors.

Wherever leadlight exists in a home, you need to regularly wet-clean the dust that develops (when the lead oxidises) on the lead calmes and falls down. Leadlights in the sun will oxidise more than leadlights always in shade, and dust formation is also increased by heating (eg steam from a cooktop) or exposure to acidic or alcoholic fumes (eg from vinegar that may be stored in an open container in the cupboard).

I hope this helps and I wish you the best in your new home.

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O’Brien

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