Lead Testing

lead-testing

Lead Testing for Paint, Water, and Soil

Lead-based paint can be assumed to be present in buildings original constructed prior to 1978. In San Francisco, the specific year is 1979.

The usual route of exposure to humans for lead-based paint is ingestion. Children under the age of 6 years old are at most risk as they are low to the ground and may be more readily exposed to lead containing dust and debris than adults.

Lead can become aerosolized if it is being actively burned or sanded. These activities should be avoided if at all possible.

If paint is intact and no disturbance (renovation/repair/demolition) is planned, then lead-based paint is less likely to be a hazard.

Confidentiality is always maintained with our client(s). American Air Testing does not release any information about any project with any other party than our client unless given written consent from our client or their agents.

All costs for our services are discussed and outlined clearly in our proposal before the project and again onsite before any sampling is collected.

When To Test

If deterioration is present, or if a disturbance (renovation/repair/demolition) is planned, then a lead-based paint survey may be necessary.

If a Notice of Violation (NOV) has been issued by the local department of public health, a certified lead-based paint abatement contractor should be hired to develop an abatement protocol and provide the abatement work necessary. American Air Testing can then be hired once the abatement work is complete to perform the validation testing necessary to satisfy the Notice of Violation.

If an Elevated Blood Lead Level (EBLL) has been established by a pediatrician in a child under the age of 6.

Our Process

Every project is unique. We begin each project by listening to our client’s concerns and discussing possible options and strategize the most cost-effective way to determine the extent of the potential contamination. Focusing on areas around deterioration, planned renovation, or constant friction surfaces is our normal strategy.

How To Test

Lead XRF Analysis. This sampling method is collected to determine if there are any layers of lead-based paint on a painted surface. This testing is usually performed prior to a renovation/remodel/demolition to determine the correct contractor to perform the work American Air Testing uses a HUD approved RMD LPA-1 XRF Lead Paint Spectrum Analyzer to quickly and inexpensively provide accurate identification of lead based paint.

Lead Dust Wipe Sampling, This sampling method is collected on horizontal surfaces such as floors/window sills/etc. This sampling method is used to determine potential risk of exposure around areas of recent disturbance of suspected or known lead-based paint or deteriorating paint. This sampling method can also be used for validation testing after abatement has been performed.

Lead Soil Sampling. This sampling method is collected of soil. This sampling method is used to determine potential risk of exposure around areas of recent disturbance of suspected or known lead-based paint or deteriorating paint along the exterior of a building. This sampling method can also be used for validation testing after abatement has been performed.

Lead Drinking Water Sampling. This sampling method is collected from the location where drinking water is collected in the home, usually a kitchen faucet. This sampling method is used to determine potential risk of exposure or to determine the source of exposure for an EBLL.

All sampling collected is submitted to a licensed environmental laboratory for analysis.

Interpreting Results

Various agency regulations give the following thresholds for lead levels:

Lead XRF Analysis

Results Expressed in: milligrams per square centimeter (mg/cm²)

Regulatory Level: Surface is positive for lead if ≥ 1.0 mg/cm²

  • EPA Hazards Rule, CDPH Title 17 Applies to HUD, EPA, & CDPH
  • Negative XRF result is not proof of no quantifiable lead for OSHA & Cal/OSHA compliance purposes

Lead Dust Sampling

Results Expressed in: micrograms per square foot (µg/ft²)

Regulatory Level – Please see Title 17, EPA Hazard Rule

Risk Assessment

            Floors: ≥ 40 µg/ft²

            Interior Window Sills (EPA) and Horizontal Surfaces (CDPH): ≥ 250 µg/ft²

Clearance Testing

            Floors: ≥ 40 µg/ft²

            Interior Window Sills (EPA) and Horizontal Surfaces (CDPH): ≥ 250 µg/ft²

            Window Troughs (EPA) and Exterior Horizontal Surfaces (CDPH): ≥ 400 µg/ft²

Lead Soil Sampling

Results Expressed in: parts per million (ppm)

Regulatory Level – Please see Title 17, EPA Hazard Rule

(CDPH) ≥ 400 ppm is hazard in child play area.

(CDPH) ≥ 1000 ppm is hazard in non-child play area.

(EPA & HUD) ≥ 400 ppm is hazard in child play area.

(EPA & HUD) ≥ 1200 ppm is hazard in non-child play area.

Lead Water Sampling

Results Expressed in: parts per billion (ppb)

Regulatory Level: EPA sets drinking water at ≥ 15 ppb.

Lead Abatement Action

If laboratory results yield elevated levels of lead over threshold limits, then what is referred to as a “lead abatement protocol” would be developed by a lead-based paint abatement contractor with a supervisor’s license. American Air Testing is available to provide a list of contactor who can provide this document.

After lead abatement has been performed by a certified contractor, American Air Testing can provide post abatement validation testing. This testing’s purpose is to confirm that all contamination was cleaned up correctly. This testing is conducted while containment is still standing and before any reconstruction begins.

Lead Post Abatement Clearance 

As a courtesy, we have compiled a list of lead-based paint abatement contractors who we often work with as a starting point for our clients. American Air Testing has no financial connection to any of these contractors.

Post lead-based paint abatement sampling is performed while containment is still standing and no reconstruction should take place so that we can get the most accurate readings.