Lead, reducing your exposure

Lead is a naturally occurring bluish-grey heavy metal found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. Metallic lead is corrosion-resistant, easily shaped and mixed with other metals to form alloys.

Lead has been used extensively by many industries in the past but the use of lead has now been regulated and reduced. The most widespread use of lead today is in vehicle batteries. Lead is an important industrial metal and lead ore is still mined in Broken Hill and transported by rail for smelting in Port Pirie.

The effects of lead are the same whether lead enters your body by breathing or swallowing. The central nervous is the main target for lead toxicity in both adults and children.

Lead and your health

See the  lead page for information on where lead can be found in the environment, who can be exposed, and its health effects.

Lead paint

You may be at risk of lead paint exposure when renovating, restoring or re-painting, especially if your home was built before the mid-1970s.

When lead paint deteriorates, is damaged or disturbed, you could be exposed to lead by breathing in  paint fumes or swallowing paint flakes and dust -  including dust from previous renovations, in places such as under the carpet or in wall cavities.

For information on reducing your lead exposure and lead-safe practices see lead paint and your health.

Port Pirie lead guidelines

For information on reducing or preventing your exposure to lead in Port Pirie see the Port Pirie lead guidelines.

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