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In my cellar there’s a thin layer of crumbling paint directly on brick.

I am concerned that it might be lead based, and I need a better mask than a cheap dust mask. The house is old, Victorian (early 1900s by my estimate). The paint is slightly grey/green in some places, and whiter in others.

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You can't tell by looks - get a lead testing kit.

If you knew for sure that the paint was 100 years old that would significantly increase the chances of it being lead-based. But it could be that the wall was originally bare brick and painted relatively recently.

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    Thanks, I'll probably grab one. This is the UK page for any future readers: amzn.to/2PFogGS. – Tim Aug 24 '18 at 20:26
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    Agreed you can't tell by looking & test kits are cheap.+ anything Pryor to the 60's is probably lead based as that was the standard for long lasting paint back then, however it could be white wash I can't tell from the photo – Ed Beal Aug 24 '18 at 20:40
  • Rather than spend the money on a test kit I decided to just buy the correct mask (FFP3) and some gloves. It was pretty much the same price anyway. – Tim Aug 25 '18 at 9:55

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