It you are looking for antique sinks to decorate your home, you should know that restrictions exist that could prevent you from buying the sinks you desire. Since the spring of 2010, salvage contractors have had to pay more attention to items which may contain lead, including ceramics and sink fittings. Before this legislation, it was entirely possible that some antique sinks and other bathroom furniture would contain small amounts of lead, both in the ceramic paints, and in other parts of the sinks. This could expose people to lead poisoning.
Lead in Antique Sinks
In previous decades, there were fewer restrictions as to what materials could be used in fixtures that were fitted into the home. Until recently, pipes with lead and metal fittings were often attached to antique sinks, but now they must be removed. Antique sinks could also have been repainted with lead-based paints. As the the paint aged and wore down, people were exposed to the risk of poisoning. This has also been restricted, so now you are less likely to find lead paint in your antique sinks.
Meeting the Newest EPA Standards
These standards mean that if you are buying or selling antique sinks, you will have to chick for signs of lead contamination. This legislation applies to schools, homes and any place where children are cared for. Prior to this legislation, salvage crews could extract antique sinks from these places, and they would sometimes be unfit for human contact. In order to make sure that you abide by this legislation, you will have to take care not to sell any sinks which might contain lead.
Other Ways in Which Legislation Affects Antique Sinks
As well as the legislation on the buying and selling of antique sinks, you may also fall under any rules which affect the waste products produced by the sink. When you are using an antique sink, if it has any harmful chemicals in the paint or glaze, these may be washed off, and could enter the city waste water system. This could include lead again, which is a serious contaminant. In order to avoid getting into trouble with the environmental agencies, you will have to ensure that the antique sinks that you buy do not contain anything which could pollute the water.
When you buy antique sinks, the best way to ensure that you are not contaminating anything, or breaking any laws, is to make sure that you remove any lead traces. Do this by taking the back off of your sink, and then cleaning it to make sure that there is no reside. Take off the fittings which are attached to your sink, and replace them with PVC ones. You may also want to repaint and re-glaze the bowl of the sink to keep it lead-free.