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QUESTION: When was lead no longer used in baby cot paint in Australia? 05 Aug 2008 NSW, Australia

Dear Sir/Madam,

My partner & I have a cot that is around 15 yrs old. Our son is 7.5 months old and one day we discovered he was chewing on the cot rail.

We're not sure the "YEAR" when lead was no longer being used to manufacture baby's cot.

Are you able to help us with the above query?

We look forward to hear from you soon.

With regards


ANSWER: 05 Aug 2008

Dear Jorge,

My sincere apologies that when I returned to work after a long illness during the time you sent your email below, I overlooked it, among the thousands of emails in our inboxes.

I really hope you took your inquiry further afield having received no reply from me.

The best way to determine whether your child has been exposed to lead (from any source) is to ask the doctor for a blood lead test. I would highly recommend that you do this if you have not done so already. Even if your son no longer chews on any paint, it is worth finding out as soon as possible, what his blood lead level is.

The trouble with cots is that one could be imported today and have lead paint on it so no age of cot is exempt from being leaded. You are best to test the blood lead level as the first test you do because if it is elevated the state health department should carry out a home lead assessment for you for free.

The alternative is to pay approximately $40 per sample to have every painted thing your son has ever chewed on, tested for it's lead content at a lab. We have kits that can help you organise this but if his blood lead level is extremely low (below 2 micrograms per decilitre which is what we call "the acceptable level until further research proves otherwise") then you would not need to do the paint lead testing.

My apologies again for the late reply.

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O’Brien

See: Lead In Paint On Toddler’s Cot Led To Her Death Ashburton Guardian, New Zealand (16/12/93).

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