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QUESTION: Money for testing ceiling dust prior to electrical work could be spent on the dust's removal 24 Oct 2008 NSW, Australia

Hi there,

I'm enquiring about the cost of a DIY lead test kit. I've got a 90 year old house in Croydon Park Sydney that's got a fair bit of dust in the ceiling. Before I do any electrical work in the roof space, I'd like to see what levels of lead are up there.

Thanks for your help.

Very best regards,


EMAIL TWO Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hi Elizabeth,

No probs on the delay. I've done the very thing myself!

Thanks for the info. I'll get onto a contractor then. By the looks of the dust up there - I'd reckon it may have gotten cleaned out a decade or two ago.

Once again, thanks for your help.

All the very best,


ANSWER: 11 Feb 2009

Hi Andy,

[I'm terribly sorry Andy - I just found that the following email draft (of 26/10/08) to you was not finalised and sent, when I got up to the point of not being able to find the ceiling dust research article online. So having finally found the article online this week, I've just completed my answer and hope you can forgive me.]

it's good that you want to buy one of our DIY-sampling home lead assessment kits to know how much lead is in your house but can I suggest a better option than using it to test lead in ceiling dust?

If you read the research on heavy metal analysis of ceiling dusts in Australian cities you'll find that it's pretty much a given that an old house (pre-1990 or so) will have excess levels of lead (and other toxics) in the ceiling dust. The exception would be if the ceiling dust has been vacuumed out (or allowed to enter the environment during demolition or roof replacement, shovelling out of dust by a non-professional, etc) since 2002 when lead petrol was banned.

See for example, "Ceiling Dust: A Potential Urban Environmental Problem"

To answer your other question, you'll see at Do_It_Yourself_Lead_Safe_Test_Kit that the Basic Kit costs $120 or $100 for LEAD Group members (2 samples) the Comprehensive Kit  costs $275 or $250 for LEAD Group members (8 samples) and the Water only Kit costs $100 or $85 for LEAD Group members (2 samples) (includes postage & handling, instructions, laboratory analysis, interpretation sheet with results, and GST).

For the dust removal, if it's not too late, we recommend that you hire a contractor who is a member of the Australian Dust Removalists Association - - check the website for members' contact details. Apologies again for the long delay in getting back to you.

Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O’Brien

EMAIL TWO Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hi Andy,

Thanks for your reply - you are very understanding. I hope it all works out well.


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