Calder Lead, as a manufacturer of rolled lead sheet to BS EN 12588, is committed to the responsible and safe use of lead sheet as an environmentally sustainable construction material.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Calder Lead is committed to the reduction of workplace accidents, to the control of lead-in-blood levels and to the provision of a safe working environment for all employees.
Lead in its metallic state does not present a health risk provided that a few simple precautions are followed:
- Apply a hand barrier cream where possible
- Wear appropriate personal protection equipment, such as safety gloves and boots
- Always wash your hands and forearms as soon as you finish handling Lead and before you do anything else. This applies even when wearing gloves
- Do not eat, drink or smoke after handling Lead until you have washed your hands
- When sweeping a Lead storage area, wear a protective dust mask and damp down any dust
Calder Lead’s Health & Safety Data Sheet (see link below) can provide you with full product safety information. In addition, information on how to work safely with Rolled Lead Sheet (see link below) has been prepared by ELSIA (European Lead Sheet Industry Association). This provides simple and very useful steps on How to Work Safely with Lead Sheet.
If you would like further advice on working with Lead in construction please contact our technical office at firstname.lastname@example.org
The case for lead sheet as a sustainable resource is very strong.
High rates of recycling
- 100% of lead sheet used by Calder Lead comes from recycled material, none from primary mining sources
- More than 95% of lead is collected and recycled – no lead goes to landfill
- Lead sheet can be used repeatedly without loss of performance
- Lead has a lower melting point compared to other metals and man-made products
- The low melting point means the process of recycling is very energy efficient – approximately one-third of the energy needed in winning lead from its ore
- Less energy equates to lower cost
Low impacts on the environment and health
- Lead sheet has the lowest carbon footprint of all competing roofing materials
- Handled correctly the risks to human health in lead workers are low
- Research shows no environmental risk related to water run-off from lead sheet
- Calder Lead has a Code of Practice (see link below) to ensure that high standards of product stewardship are applied to the manufacture, distribution and installation of lead sheet products
- Extensive and effective EU legislation covers the entire lifecycle of lead sheet
Durability and low lifetime cost
- Lifetime of lead sheet frequently exceeds 60 years
- Lead lasts three times longer than other man-made products
- Durability reduces maintenance and lifetime costs
Compared to its competitors, both metals and man-made products, lead sheet has the highest rates of recycling in Europe.
- 100% of lead sheet used by Calder Lead is manufactured from recycled material
- More than 95% of scrap lead is collected and recycled – no lead goes to landfill
- At the end of its life on a building, lead sheet is easily identified and separated from the building or from demolition waste so that it can be sent for recovery. Collection is achieved with great efficiency because of lead’s high scrap value, so nothing goes to waste, and no lead goes to landfill
- Lead can be used and recycled any number of times to provide new material of exactly the same purity and properties as the primary metal
- The high rates of recycling lead means there is little need for primary material thus saving valuable natural resources
The unique properties of lead mean that it is one of the most energy efficient construction materials available.
- With a low melting point of 327°C, lead has one of the lowest energy demands of any metal and lowers the cost of recycling
- Because of lead’s low melting point the process of recycling is very energy efficient, requiring approximately one-third of the energy involved in winning lead from its ore
- One of the elements considered in a life cycle analysis the impact on global warming and lead sheet has a considerable advantage over other metals
LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS
A long-term low maintenance construction material
In all studies conducted on life cycle assessment (LCA) the results have shown that lead sheet has the best environmental credentials to provide a long-term low maintenance solution as a construction material.
In studies, undertaken in 1998 and 2006, using universally approved analytical methods it was proven that lead sheet has a superior environmental performance compared with alternative building materials in different applications:
- Cavity wall (comparison with reinforced EPDM, plasticised PVC and SEBS)
- Flashings (comparison with reinforced PiB and SEBS)
- Valley gutters (comparison with GRP)
The three most significant factors to consider are:
- Lead sheet's low melting point enables recycling with minimal impact on global warming
- Very low surface corrosion means insignificant impacts on water and soil contamination
- As 100% secondary materials are used in its manufacture there is no impact on resource
In conclusion, for building and construction, where there remains a possibility for rainwater ingress lead sheet has the best environmental credentials to provide a long-term low maintenance solution as a construction material.
LCA is an established international analytical method of reviewing materials from an environmental perspective. LCA studies provide an approach that assesses the potential environmental impact of the manufacturing processes of a product, the extraction of the raw materials used by these processes, the use and maintenance of the product by the consumer, its end–of-life (recycling, reuse or disposal) as well as the various methods of transport occurring between every link of the chain.
The procedures of LCA are part of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 14040 series of standards.