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Scares of the week: don't lick the skirtings

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Never satisfied that a risk has ceased to be a logical concern to the public, the government has relaunched a campaign to 'warn DIYers of a potential danger lurking in their homes'.

Thousands of new leaflets are being issued to alert people 'who will be busy decorating over the May bank holidays' of the risks from lead in old paintwork. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions circular continues: 'Until the mid 1960s lead was used in paint for interiors such as windows, doors and radiators.Cases of lead poisoning are now rare. However, lead paintwork can be a risk, particularly to children and pregnant women; for example, by creating dust if it is damaged or disturbed during decorating, or if children lick or chew painted surfaces.'

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