Green-Tech Environmental Engineering Ltd.

60 Venture Drive | Suite 21
Toronto, Ontario
M1B 3S4
Phone (416) 364-1760 | Fax (416) 253-8901


The Issues

At one time, lead pigments were often used in ceramic glazes and interior paints; but because lead pigments are toxic, their use is now restricted. Until shortly after World War II, lead was used as a pigment in many paints, especially white and pastel shades. Some paints contained as much as 50% lead by weight.

Paint in your facility that is more than a few years old may contain lead. Depending on the age of the paint, the lead level may be very high. If your facility was built before 1980, the interior or exterior paint may contain lead. If it was built before 1950, some of the paint almost certainly contains high levels of lead.

The Implications

Renovating an older facility can expose the occupants to lead. Sanding or scraping lead-based paint can produce large amounts of lead-containing dust.

Symptoms of lead poisoning include loss of appetite, weakness, anemia, vomiting, and convulsions, sometimes leading to permanent brain damage or death. Children who ingest chips of old, lead-containing paint or are exposed to dust from the deterioration of such paint may exhibit symptoms.

The newborn of mothers who had been exposed to lead levels even considered safe for children appear to show signs of slowed mental growth. Levels of environmental lead considered non-toxic may also be involved in increased hypertension in a significant number of persons, according to studies released in the mid-1980s. As a result, in recent years regulatory agencies have been revising downward the levels of environmental lead that they would consider safe.

Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should never strip paint or be exposed to dust or fumes from paint removal. If paint dust can not be contained, or if the entire facility is being renovated, pregnant women should work elsewhere until the abatement-work is completed.

How Green-Tech Can Help

If you work in a facility more than 40 years old you should assume that it contains substantial amounts of leaded paint. Green-Tech can inexpensively let you know if lead is present. If lead is detected, Green-Tech can conduct further analytical testing to tell you exactly how much lead is present and where it is located.

If lead-containing paint or plumbing is to be removed, Green-Tech can ensure that the work is performed in a safe manner. Strict work programs are prepared to keep contamination from being spread. Green-Tech can also ensure that the contractor disposes of these materials in accordance with all applicable regulations.

Authorized by the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario