1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

February 4, 2008

:035 Furniture with Lead

Suggested Review – :033, :034

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

1:5:10:035 Tip:  Lead is being used in foreign countries to dye leather. Most of the leather being used in the US today is imported. Lead based paints and stains are also found in furniture finishes and is especially common on painted antiques. Furnishings with lead on the surface finish may be screened using the lead test kits discussed in :033. In some materials such as leather the lead is released by perspiration and may not be detected by this method. The swabs are a screening tool only and also does not answer the question about how much lead is present.

As with building paint (:034) a small chip of the material or slice of the leather can be submitted for laboratory analysis. The sample can usually be collected from a hidden location such as the underside of a sofa or chair.

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Additional Information

Analysis of the lead samples can be arranged by contacting one of our sponsors: Restoration Consultants http://www.restconenvironmental.com/

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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

http://www.epa.gov/WTC/panel/pdfs/5-att-2_hud_lead_wipe_sampling.pdf

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

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