Lead Paint Safety Association

Trusted traders 'fail' lead paint test

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You should assume that all paint contains lead (according to Health & Safety Executive guidance) unless there is good evidence to prove otherwise.
 
Almost all 'trusted trader' scheme operators and their members are failing to ensure the risk assessment of 'everyday' exposure to lead-containing paint and dust hazards. This is a worker compliance and customer exposure risk issue.
 
They do not have the knowledge to ensure the effective protection that consumers, especially young mothers and children, have every right to expect.

Given that paint manufacturers' lead paint warnings, on-pack and in safety data sheets, have been ignored for years the likelihood of 'trusted trader' scheme members complying with relevant health and safety regulations is remote.
 
How much do 'trusted traders' really know about lead exposure risks in order to provide sufficient protection for themselves and their customers?

Trusted trader schemes are a welcome service to protect consumers who might otherwise be conned by rogue and incompetent tradesmen. But when it comes to evaluating their contribution to improving health and safety performance this is not the case.
 
A paper-based, tick-box 'sign here' approach to ensuring health and safety performance on-site does little to provide the real reassurance and protection that consumers could reasonably expect from competent tradesmen and the trusted trader schemes to which they belong.
 
Even with site audits, lead paint hazards and contamination risks tend to be invisible and cannot be detected by visual inspection alone.
 
Most paintwork has a lead content, which means that most of the work involving the disturbance of lead-containing paint can create a 'significant' exposure risk. Ask your tradesman's scheme operator if members are vetted to ensure they meet any of the various mandatory requirements for 'significantly' exposed workers, including:
 
a) Considering the amount of lead involved, whether by DIY paint test or XRF-i lead survey
b) Regular, quarterly monitoring of blood lead levels
c) Information, instruction and training
d) Personal air monitoring
 
If the tradesman of your choice uses a 'George' or 'Henry'-type vacuum cleaner, the chances are they do not know enough about lead hazards to protect your family or themselves. They should be using hazardous dust rated 'HEPA' vacuum extraction for dust-producing power tools and for final clean-up.
 
And, if you are somehow persuaded to "carry on as normal", at the very least make an effort to clean up thoroughly and take dust wipe samples to confirm that any residual lead contamination levels are within 'acceptable' limits.
 
Remember, there is no safe level of lead exposure - especially where children are concerned.