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Lead paint???

Old 04-24-11, 10:42 AM
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crushingmetal
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Lead paint???

I'm stripping paint from a vintage bicycle frame and I'd like to know if lead paint was used. Does anyone know if and when lead paint was used on bicycles? Or, where I can find out? This is my first time re-painting a bicycle, but it won't be my last.
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Old 04-24-11, 10:54 AM
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good question. frankly from what has been in the news lately I would be more concerned with a newer bike made in china.
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Old 04-24-11, 11:12 AM
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Having just stripped the paint off an old frame for the first time, and being one who tests building materials for lead paint prior to demolition; this was a question I had as well. I used a chemical stripper with the frame in a large storage bin to catch the flakes of paint and was careful to bag up all the paint flakes for disposal. I think if you use a chemical stripper and the paint is removed 'wet', all of the stripped paint is controlled and disposed of, there is little to worry about.

If, however, you sand or scrape the paint while it is dry; if the paint had a significant amount of lead mixed with it, there would be concern that the tiny paint flakes could become airborne and inhaled or ingested. This is particularly a concern where small children are present.
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Old 04-24-11, 11:58 AM
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I can't imagine old paint NOT containing lead. I would not suggest stripping by mechanical means without taking precautions.
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Old 04-24-11, 11:58 AM
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Lead Paint is GREAT paint - Strong - Sticks - Retains color - Only problem is eating it - Treat it as a toxic substance and you are good to go - There is really not that much lead in the paint per say - Don't strip your lead paint bike in dirt you are going to throw in the garden - Common sence - Lead is everywhere - Don't you remember shooting lead shot when bird hunting - Just be careful...

Just like when hunting...
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Old 04-24-11, 12:21 PM
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In the US, CPSC banned lead paint in 1977, though use probably continued for awhile as stock was used up. In England, lead was apparently removed from paint products more slowly, over the years from 60s through early 90s. Assume than any bicycle painted before the bans in various countries has finish containing lead -- it was a definite performance-enhancer.
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Old 04-24-11, 12:26 PM
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Lead is highest in old white and white-tinted paints. Titanium Oxide has replaced lead as it's inert and far brighter.
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Old 04-24-11, 01:26 PM
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along similar lines, was asbestos used in old Bicycle Drum Brake shoes? Is it currently?
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Old 04-24-11, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by crushingmetal View Post
I'm stripping paint from a vintage bicycle frame and I'd like to know if lead paint was used. Does anyone know if and when lead paint was used on bicycles? Or, where I can find out? This is my first time re-painting a bicycle, but it won't be my last.
You can buy lead paint testing kits at many hardware stores. There intended for when you're working on your old house to check, but I'm sure they would work on a bicycle as well.

Be careful and wear appropriate protection, lead poisoning and other chemical exposure is no joke.
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Old 04-24-11, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
along similar lines, was asbestos used in old Bicycle Drum Brake shoes? Is it currently?
AFAIK it wasn't, and it definitely wouldn't be used now. Even if it was, it isn't that dangerous if you're dealing with just one hub: The danger comes from exposure to lots of loose asbestos fibers, which can get lodged in lung passages.
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Old 04-24-11, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Buikema View Post
You can buy lead paint testing kits at many hardware stores. There intended for when you're working on your old house to check, but I'm sure they would work on a bicycle as well.

Be careful and wear appropriate protection, lead poisoning and other chemical exposure is no joke.
I wonder though, lead was used in paint, and many other things, for over 1000 years before it was discovered that it was harmful, I think most of the lead exposure for people, is when lead was used as an additive in gasoline, where cars turned it into a fine particulate matter, and as cars got more and more popular car pollution got more and more and it reached a tipping point and started to do real harm. If the bicycle was white, there may be lead in the paint, if it's a light colour, there is probably a lot less, if it's a dark colour, probably none at all, even if the paint is quite old.

If your concerned, then you want to contain it, as much as you can, wear a respirator and either a disposable painters suit or old clothes you can toss and gloves, work over a plastic drop cloth, put the clothes or the suit in it, wrap it up to contain any particles, and seal it up, and put it with the hazardous stuff for the annual hazardous waste pickup, or take it to the hazardous waste place for disposal. Call your city or town to know when this is....

I remember as a kid, pushing a drop of mercury around the desk in science class, now if you break a light bulb that contains 1/1000th the amount in it, it's the end of the world. I think a lot of this stuff is blown out of proportion these days.
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Old 04-24-11, 05:00 PM
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Thanks Wog, for the sanity...
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Old 04-24-11, 05:34 PM
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I bought some cheap QBP single speed coaster brake wheels a couple years back. There is a sticker on them that says "Warning, this product contains products known to cause birth defects".
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Old 04-24-11, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
along similar lines, was asbestos used in old Bicycle Drum Brake shoes? Is it currently?
Wow! I think you may have just opened up a whole new business for me.
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