Public Health's health protection officers provide advice to the public on lead and many other hazardous substances.

Non-occupational poisonings are investigated by Public Health. Lead poisoning relating to workplaces is investigated by WorkSafe.

Exposure to lead can result in lead poisoning, which can be serious and can cause health issues and symptoms. Most cases of lead poisoning come from indoor shooting, casting of lead bullets, fish sinkers and diving weights, lead smelting, paint stripping on houses pre-1980s and consumption of herbal medicines which contain lead.

Exposure to lead paint is a leading cause of lead poisoning in children and adults.

Young children (particularly those under five years old) are more likely to ingest the paint (as it may taste sweet) or lead contaminated soil. Adults are more likely to have inhaled lead fumes (from using a heat gun to remove paint) or dust (from sanding paint).

Last updated 27 October 2023.