I have a 1975 Raleigh frame that I'd like to sand and re-paint, but I'm concerned about the possibility of the existing old paint containing lead. I bought a cheap lead paint tester at the hardware store, and it indicated negative -- no lead. But I'm not sure I completely trust this result. I know cars had lead in their paint well up into the 90s before it was outlawed. Can anyone tell me about the history of bike paint and when it likely contained lead.
Vitus 979, Simplon 4-Star (Romani), Woodrup Giro, Gazelle AB
Lead is not exactly plutonium. You will not become a nerve-jangled moron after one exposure. But, if you're concerned about a lifetime of risk, being cautious around any dusts, fumes and or gases is prudent. Acquiring an OSHA approved cartridge mask for your tool box will ensure that you are always prepared when using paints and working around dusts. Just be sure to use the cartridge types approved for the specific agent — dust and chemical types. Personally speaking, if I were wet-sanding with emery paper and using lots of water, I'd not worry about it. Just don't grab a sandwich before you wash your hands.