1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

February 3, 2008

:034 Home Lead Levels

Filed under: :034 Buildings with Lead — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Suggested Review – :033

Today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet is about lead in our homes.


1:5:10:034 Tip:  Lead-based paint has been used in pre-1980 buildings and can be screened using the lead test kits discussed in :033. This is a screening tool only and does not answer the question about how much lead is present. Another technique is to submit a small chip of the material for laboratory analysis (this requires damaging the painted surface – which may not matter if the paint is already deteriorating).

Lead containing dust from deteriorating paint is frequently the greatest risk for exposure. In Additional Information I have posted an EPA link to a PDF describing a method for collecting dust using baby wipes that can be submitted to a laboratory for analysis. 


One method of professional testing is called Xray fluorescence. This machine is expensive and requires training so it is not a do it yourself method, but it is generally the most cost effective since a consultant can evaluate several hundred different surfaces very quickly.


Additional Information

EPA has provided information about lead at http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/leadinfo.htm#facts

They also have instructions for collecting wipe samples following HUD guidelines at


Analysis of these wipes can be arranged by contacting one of our sponsors: Restoration Consultants http://www.restconenvironmental.com/


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