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Lead Testing

Table of Contents

Why Lead Testing Is Important

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause severe health issues, including developmental problems in children, fertility issues, and increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage. The presence of lead in paint, soil, or water can pose a significant health risk, especially to children and pregnant women. Therefore, it’s crucial to test these elements to ensure they are free from lead contamination.

When To Test For Lead

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

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 six.

Lead in Paint, Soil and Water Testing

Older homes and buildings in San Francisco often have layers of lead-based paint. Our team uses X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology to detect the presence of lead in paint accurately. We provide a detailed report and recommendations for lead paint removal or encapsulation.

Soil contamination can occur from various sources, including old paint chips, industrial waste, or contaminated water. Our soil testing services include sample collection and laboratory analysis to determine the lead levels in your property’s soil.

Lead can enter drinking water through corroded plumbing systems. We offer water testing services that include collecting samples from multiple points in your plumbing system and analyzing them for lead content. If we find elevated levels, we recommend immediate remedial actions.

Licensed, Insured, Experienced

  • Experienced Team: Our environmental inspectors are certified and have years of experience in lead testing.

  • Advanced Technology: We use the latest technology to provide accurate and reliable results.

  • Quick Turnaround: Get your results quickly so you can take any necessary preventive measures as soon as possible.

  • Local Expertise: Being based in San Francisco, we understand the local regulations and guidelines related to lead testing.

Lead Acceptable Levels


Lead-based Paint XRF Results
XRF Lead Gun 
PASS < 1.0 mg/cm²
FAIL ≥ 1.0 mg/cm²
Lead Wipe Samples
Interior Floor Surface
PASS< 10 µg/ft.²
FAIL≥ 10 µg/ft.²
Interior Window Sills
PASS < 100 µg/ft.²
FAIL ≥ 100 µg/ft.²
Other Interior Horizontal Surface
PASS< 40 µg/ft.²
FAIL≥ 40 µg/ft.²
Exterior Floors 
PASS< 400 µg/ft.²
FAIL≥ 400 µg/ft.²
Other Exterior Horizontal Surfaces
Pass < 400 µg/ft.²
Fail ≥ 400 µg/ft.²
Exterior Window Sill/Trough
PASS< 400 µg/ft.²
FAIL ≥ 400 µg/ft.²
Field Blank< 10 µg/ft.²
Lead Soil Samples
Children’s Playground 
PASS< 400 ppm
FAIL≥ 400 ppm
Not in Children’s Playground
PASS< 1000 ppm
FAIL≥ 1000 ppm
Lead Water Samples
PASS< 15 ppb
FAIL≥ 15 ppb

Lead NOV Help

If you have received a Notice of Violation from the local building department a physician has tested a child and found an elevated level of lead. This may not always be the case, but it is usually the case. California law requires both physicians and environmental consultants to report all lead testing results to the California Department of Health.

We can help with any kind of NOV from the Building Department; lead NOVs are the most common.


EPA National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (NLLAP)

This program under the International Accreditation Service, Inc. (IAS), plays a crucial role in accrediting laboratories for lead sample analysis, following the standards set by the EPA. American Air Testing uses NLLAP certified labs only.

State and Local Programs by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC supports state and local health departments in childhood lead poisoning prevention activities, which include blood lead testing and reporting, surveillance, and linking children to recommended follow-up services.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA addresses lead contamination under several laws related to lead in various forms such as paint, dust, soil, air, water, and waste disposal. The agency issues and enforces regulations to manage lead-related hazards.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): OSHA oversees lead exposure in various work environments, providing guidelines and regulations to protect workers from lead poisoning and ensuring safe occupational practices.