Lead Paint Removal >> How To Remove Residential Lead Paint

Lead test kits are products sold to consumers for use in detecting the presence of lead.Historically, test kits have been developed to detect lead-based paint as defined by the "Lead Safe Housing Rule," (24 C.F.R. Part 35). Under this rule, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), lead-based paint is paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or How To Remove Residential Lead Paint exceeding 1.0 milligrams per square centimeter (mg/cm2) or 0.5 percent by weight (equivalent to 5,000 parts per million or ppm).

Under the law administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), lead containing paint means paint or How To Remove Residential Lead Paint similar surface coating materials in which the lead content exceeds 0.06 percent by weight (16 C.F.R. Part 1303) (equivalent to 600 ppm). The limit for lead content of paint for products regulated by CPSC is lower than the threshold used by HUD for detecting and controlling lead-based paint in older housing. 

As a result, test kits that are appropriate for HUD's limit may not be useful for detecting lead paint concentrations that exceed CPSC's 0.06 percent limit but that are less than HUD's 0.5 percent limit. The two types of test kits that are currently available are based on chemical reactions of either the rhodizonate ion, which produces a pink or red color in the presence of lead, or the sulfideion, How To Remove Residential Lead Paint which produces a gray, brown or black color in the presence of lead. 

Both types of tests may be limited by interfering substances that can cause inaccurate results (e.g., chromate may interfere with rhodizonate kits; iron may react with sulfide kits). Most test kits come with extensive instructions for use and interpretation of results. While the main use of test kits may still be to detect lead in paint, How To Remove Residential Lead Paint some test kit products contain instructions for adapting the test for use on materials other than paint, such as solder, vinyl, jewelry, and soil.

On several occasions since 1992, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff has evaluated:1) Whether commercially available lead test kits reliably and accurately detect the presence or absence of lead in consumer products 2) Whether test kit results accurately inform consumers about the presence or How To Remove Residential Lead Paint absence of lead hazards 

SUMMARY OF RESULTS Four studies conducted by CPSC staff (1992, 1994, 2003, 2007) are discussed in Attachment A.The staff evaluations have consistently indicated that:1) The usefulness of these test kits may be limited by interfering substances that could cause inaccurate results. 2) Some kits may not reliably detect lead when it is present (false negatives) or How To Remove Residential Lead Paint may register a positive response in the absence of significant lead levels (false positives). 

A false negative is when a test kit does not detect lead even when lead is present at high amounts. For example, a clasp of a bracelet may contain over 80 percent lead and the test kits reads negative; i.e., no color change, How To Remove Residential Lead Paint because of the non-leaded metal plating over the lead base. A false positive is when a test kit displays a positive result by a change in color and there is no or little lead in the item. 

For example, a painted item may produce a positive test result, but actually contain only very low levels of lead (i.e., less than the CPSC lead-containing paint standard of 0.06 percent), How To Remove Residential Lead Paint or no lead at all. The color change in the test kit may result from interference by other chemicals in the item.3) Even when used for screening, a positive result with a test kit merely indicates that lead might be present, but not the quantitative level, or if a potential risk exists.

4) Even as a screening test, a negative result with a test kit does not assure a consumer that lead is not present in the product, and if it is, whether its presence might pose a hazard under certain uses of the product. 5) Most, if not all, How To Remove Residential Lead Paint of the test kits were developed to detect lead in paint and may not be appropriate for use with other materials such as metal jewelry or vinyl products. 

Some kits now include instructions for testing products such as jewelry that call for placing items in vinegar for 4 hours or that suggest using fine sandpaper to score the surface of the metal. These procedures may adversely affect the appearance and usability of tested items, How To Remove Residential Lead Paint and other chemical compounds in some materials may interfere with obtaining valid test results.

6) Test kits that may be appropriate for use in evaluations using HUD's limit (i.e., How To Remove Residential Lead Paint detection of lead in paint that exceeds 0.5 percent/5,000 ppm) may not be useful for detecting lead concentrations near the lower CPSC lead-containing paint limit (0.06 percent/600 ppm).

7) In a limited study (2007), How To Remove Residential Lead Paint X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) correctly identified the presence or absence of lead for 12 out of 13 samples, with one false negative for a sample of metal jewelry with nickel and copper plating. 

CONCLUSIONS The staff generally does not recommend the use of consumer lead test kits because testing has shown that some kits may not reliably detect lead when it is present (false negatives) or How To Remove Residential Lead Paint may register a positive response in the absence of significant lead levels (false positives). 

Because of their unreliable performance, consumers should exercise caution in relying on these test kits to evaluate consumer products for potential lead exposures or How To Remove Residential Lead Paint hazards. Professional application of XRF technologies may be a useful way to screen for the presence or absence of lead in products,particularly for surface level lead. 

XRF detectors have limited depth of penetration so, for certain applications, such as children's metal jewelry, How To Remove Residential Lead Paint it is possible for the surface coating to mask the presence of potentially hazardous leaded base metal underneath, resulting in a false negative test. 

The staff believes that laboratory analysis remains the only accurate and reliable way to detect and quantify lead in products and How To Remove Residential Lead Paint assess any possible risk posed by use of these products. Staff conducted a limited comparison of four test kits evaluated for their ability to detect lead in latex based and oil based paint. Conclusion The reliability of the kits cannot be assured due to substances in older paint that may interfere with lead detection.

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