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QUESTION: Can you recommend a lead assessor in Hobart or a way to test soil at a lab? 05 Sep 2008 Tasmania, Australia


About 1 year ago my partner and I moved into a 1958 double brick home in Lenah Valley Tasmania.

My main area of concern is the soil surrounding the house. The neighbours tell me that the roof was water blasted to remove an incorrectly applied coat of roof paint several years ago. The soil in the garden around the home now has a lot of generally large flakes of paint in it. I have done a swab test on the underside of one of these flakes and lead was present, however this appears to have been lead residue from the previous layer of paint as when i tested the upper side of the flake no lead was present.

Most of the flakes are now below the surface of the soil (approx 5cm) as mulch etc has built up over time.

I would like to have the house and soil inspected by an expert if that’s possible or alternatively send soil samples for analysis.

Can you provide a recommendation for a professional inspector in Hobart and / or can you give an indication of the cost of analysing several soil samples if I collect and send them to you?

Many thanks,

P.S The interior paint work is in very good condition and following a swab test does not appear to contain lead (although I'm proceeding as though the bottom layers do).

ANSWER: 05 Sep 2008

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for your well-informed inquiry.

You seem to be well on the way to creating a lead-safe home and it looks like you might have read "Lead paint & ceiling dust management - how to do it lead-safely" at  - if you haven't already read it I'm sure you'll find it of interest.

The only lead assessor we know of in Hobart is Bill McEwan of CTI Consultants at Taroona on mobile 0419 337 406. But the Head office in Sydney of CTI Consultants is moving out of doing home lead assessments because most people don't want to pay as much as it costs for a guy to come to your home and collect appropriate samples and analyse them and write you a report about what the results mean.

For this reason, The LEAD Group (a charity which runs this service) sells DIY sampling kits so you can read the instructions and decide which samples to collect and then send dust or soil or paint or water or ceramic ware etc direct to the lab. We then email you the results with an Interpretation sheet. These kits are excellent value at Basic Kit $120 or $100 for LEAD Group members for two samples or Comprehensive Kit $275 or $250 for LEAD Group members for 8 samples and Water only Kit $100 or $85 for LEAD Group members  for two samples (inclusive of laboratory costs which are typically $40+ per sample if you're not getting the charity rate anyway).

I am told by one of the Directors of CTI Consultants in Sydney that it is often the case that what looks like one layer of paint is actually 3 or more layers of paint. This could explain a different lead spot test kit result on one surface of a paint flake compared to the other. Lab analysis dissolves the whole flake to determine it's lead content.

If you want to purchase a LEAD Group kit you can call me on 02 9716 0014 or send your credit card details (no., expiry, name & card-type) by email along with your phone number.


Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O’Brien

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Last Updated 07 January 2013
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