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Old 05-25-2010, 08:34 PM   #1
Shawn Prentice
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Lead in ceramics

Some of you know, and it's likely some don't, that old glazed ceramics (pre-'78) and even imported ceramics made today contain lead in the glaze. Once the tiles are broken up, lead dust can be scattered throughout the work area and carried outside of it very easily. Yes, I know that tile is not included under the RRP rules, but it should be.

Here's an informative article written by Judson Bryant for the Ceramic Tile Institute of America (I've posted this before in a couple of other threads): http://www.ctioa.org/reports/fr79.html


I ask (Please) that we all be more proactive by informing DIYs doing their own demolition on pre-'78 tile jobs as to the possible dangers of lead dust created by tearing out these tiles (and even newer jobs with imported glazed ceramic-How will you know in this case? You probably won't.) Proper containment and clean-up is essential so they don't poison themselves or their families.

If there are any questions as to how to do this, myself, Dean (Bathroom Remodeler) and others are knowledgeable in the procedures to make sure the DIYs are going about this the proper way.
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Old 05-25-2010, 08:57 PM   #2
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Lead is still used in some imported products though less all the time. I had one test positive that was installed last September. It was discovered as they had to demo some non-compliant work. It was removed from domestic products in the 70's.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:02 PM   #3
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The Chinese had to use something when they removed the melamine......

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Old 05-25-2010, 09:05 PM   #4
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You mean from the baby formula ?
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:07 PM   #5
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And the pet food, and the......

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Old 05-25-2010, 09:08 PM   #6
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reality check?

Honestly how much lead dust do you think is being freed to the atmosphere from a few broken tiles?
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:20 PM   #7
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The amount it takes to poison a child is very small, 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood.

Here is a visualization:

A deciliter is about 1/2 of a cup.
A packet of sweetener is one gram.
There are one million micrograms in a gram.
Divide one packet into one million piles. (Pretend!)
Discard 999,990 of those piles.
Take the remaining 10 piles and mix them into half a cup of liquid.
You now have a representation of how much lead it takes to poison a child.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:32 PM   #8
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no worries, I set very little glazed ceramic
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:10 PM   #9
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It's too late for me.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:28 AM   #10
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MM, Enough where if lead is in the glaze and they complain about dust from the demo, if someone swab's it for lead, it could be over the Federal guidelines which are lower than that commonly found in soil. Not something to fixate on, but be aware of. It is most common in red and blue glazes and a few other darker color variations. The one last year was an Umber glaze. There is a test for lead in glaze, ASTM C-895 but it is a $1050.00 test.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:05 AM   #11
Shawn Prentice
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Dave, an environmental consultant can do a lead test with an XRF gun on ceramic tile, along with a couple hundred other surfaces in a house, much cheaper.
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Last edited by Shawn Prentice; 05-26-2010 at 05:39 PM. Reason: add an "s"
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:12 AM   #12
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Well, we're not going to quit tearing out old tile installations (or new ones, for that matter). Best we can do is recommend wearing a dust mask. Small children should not be anywhere near the demo to begin with. It's not that I'm not safety conscious, but enough is enough.
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Old 05-26-2010, 06:56 AM   #13
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heres something funny as all....I just installed lights this week and on the inside of the box was a warning the parts on this product may contain lead... on a light...........geesh so now we have lead lights we turn on and the heat dispereses lead to us and on our food
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:17 AM   #14
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As of 4-22-2010 you have to be certified to do any work on pre 1978 house.

Quote:
EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.
One of my suppliers just sent out a letter telling all their installers about it. The eight hour class is $235.
Here is a link about the lead law.
http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/renovation.htm
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBridge
Well, we're not going to quit tearing out old tile installations (or new ones, for that matter).
I wasn't suggesting that. But after reading a thread about a guy tearing up a 1920's bathroom with his wife pregnant, I felt it was important to inform him and everyone who may not know about the possibility of lead dust being released in these types of tear-outs.

And for contractors doing the demolition, it is important to take precautions during the process and to leave the area clean afterwards. Even though old tile removal is not included in the RRP guidelines, the public is becoming more aware of the dangers of lead contamination during construction work in older homes. And there are attorneys getting ready to take advantage of this. It'll make no difference what the lead rules cover to the client and/or their kids who get poisoned and the attorney they hire to sue the contractor.

Everyone can take from this what they will and do things how the want, but at least now an informed decision can be made.
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Last edited by Shawn Prentice; 05-26-2010 at 09:52 AM. Reason: add "of"
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