Lead Based Paint Testing

There are three main approaches for determining the lead content in paint:

1) Test the paint for lead in situ using a chemical test kit.
2) Measure the amount of lead in paint in situ using a portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
3) Collect a paint sample and measure its lead content in a laboratory using various
analytical techniques


1.Chemical test kits


 Immediate results
 Cheap
 Relatively simple to use


Limited accuracy
 Qualitative or semi quantitative
 Can test mainly top (surface) layers
 May need to damage the paint
 Difficult to observe color change
for dark paints

2.Portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry


 Good accuracy
 Immediate results
 Low use costs
 No damage to the paint surface
 Rapid


 Potentially larger margin of error
compared with laboratory analysis
 Requires some training/certification
 Relatively high purchase cost
 Cannot measure lead in small
objects or on highly curved or
intricate surfaces, including many

3.Laboratory analysis


Most accurate method
 Relatively affordable if laboratory is
available and only few samples
 No technical limitations
 Can determine both the soluble and
insoluble lead fractions
 Can be used to analyse new (wet)


Paint surface must be disturbed
 Very expensive if equipment must
be purchased and set up
 Requires trained laboratory
personnel and strict quality
assurance measures
 Results are not available

Call Arizona Environmental Specialists for all your Lead testing needs 480.553.7052





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