If you have plans to repaint your house this summer while listening to the cricket, there is one hazard I would like you to protect yourselves from. Poisoning from lead-based paints.
We have had plain English government guidelines since 1993 to help us avoid lead poisoning around our homes due to a number of sources of lead but mostly lead based paint. So please download The Guidelines which are intended to help you.
There is a simple test that can be done to determine if there is lead present in your current painted house. Ask your paint supplier or professional painter for advice.
If the conditions are right, you can overcoat existing lead-based paint to keep it safely sealed up, (see The Guidelines for options for dealing with lead-based paint). But ultimately it will have to be removed one day.
Keep safe this summer. Take the necessary precautions preparing lead-based painted surfaces for repainting. Wear sunscreen when out in the sun, and a hat and long sleeves. Tune into the cricket before lifting the paint lid. Go the Blackcaps.
By Matthew Ensoll Editor, The New Zealand Building Economist (NZBE).