What Can Be Done

There are many things that could be done to reduce the prevalence of lead exposure in the UK. Many would not be expensive.


  • Home surveys to including warnings, or tests
  • Establish a ‘lead safe’ training and certification scheme for painters and builders
  • Establish post-work lead clearance standards


  • Antique shops to provide warnings on furniture, ceramics, doors, toys, etc.
  • Stock testing kits
  • Provide free paint stirrers with warnings, e.g.


  • All vacuum cleaners to feature HEPA filters
  • Paint containers to have better warnings explaining what precautions to take and where to find more information, e.g. PaintSafe.
  • Abrasives to have warnings on papers and packaging
  • Power sanders to have warnings on packaging
  • Paint stripper to warn that lead could be left exposed
  • Phase out leaded fuel from light aircraft engines
  • Exclude lead stabilisers from imported PVC, windows, pipes and cables


  • Door dippers to provide warnings
  • Double glazing installers to provide warnings where lead decoration is applied especially if accessible to children



  • Test schools for lead in paint, dust and water
  • Extend Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to adults
  • Implement equivalent of US ‘Renovation, Repair and Painting’ standard
  • Lower CLAW suspension, action and surveillance levels


  • Improve DEFRA advice on DIY
  • Fix the DEFRA lead website
  • DEFRA or NHS to provide a help line


  • Bring forward legislation to ban lead in road markings
  • Ban lead in light aircraft
  • Phase out lead shot, bullets and propellant in recreational shooting


  • GPs to be taught to recognise BLLs lower than the normal range as dangerous
  • Public Health England to conduct research into UK blood lead levels
  • Introduce screening of children for elevated blood lead levels particularly those living in older homes or urban areas. See The Scafell Project.