Lead inspectionsdetermine the presence of lead in paint and other possible lead-based and contaminated areas. This inspection, measures lead in both deteriorated and intact paint. The procedure involves taking readings from representative surfaces throughout the testing area or room. The most common primary analytical method for detecting lead in paint is X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). The XRF instrument is used because of its demonstrated abilities to accurately determine the amount of lead that is present without disturbing the painted surfaces as well as their high speed and relatively low cost per sample.
When was lead paint most commonly used?
Lead-based paint (LBP) is a concern in most homes built before 1978. In the U.S., White Lead was used extensively as a pigment in paint until the rising cost of lead in the 1960s prompted the use of alternative pigments. The growing awareness of lead poisoning resulted in the eventual ban of lead-based paint in 1978 when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the sale and distribution of residential paint containing lead. Before the decline in use and eventual ban of lead-based paint, it was considered a high quality and durable paint. It is estimated that over 80% of the homes built before 1978 contain some lead-based paint.
Who is at risk from lead paint exposure?
Particularly at risk are young children under the age of six years. Their innate and indiscriminate habits of putting objects in their mouths make them most susceptible to ingesting lead dust or paint chips. Their proportionally smaller body mass allows dangerously high concentrations of lead to develop more easily with minimal exposure. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 10 percent of U.S. preschoolers suffer from high enough levels of lead in their blood to poison their systems. “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized (CDC).”
Also at risk from exposure to lead-based paint are pregnant women. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the routine opening and closing of windows in homes built prior to 1978 can disturb lead-based paint around the windows, causing paint dust and chips to be released into the air. These lead particles are so potentially dangerous that the EPA now requires contractors to be trained and certified before they can perform any renovation, repair or painting projects that may have previously applied lead-based paint. Small children who crawl on the floor where lead dust has settled are especially at risk for lead poisoning. Toddlers have a tendency to put their hands to their mouths, and if they’ve been playing on the floor near an old, lead-painted window, they could easily transfer lead dust from hand-to-mouth. Ingested lead travels through the child’s bloodstream to his developing brain, causing various types of neurobehavioral damage.
What does a lead paint inspection report include?
The ETS lead paint inspection report includes an executive summary, scope of the inspection, total count of surfaces tested, total of surfaces tested positive for lead, a detailed analysis of every surface, recommendations for stabilization and more. Each surface tested would be assigned a reading ID and be fully documented for component type (door, window sill, baseboard, wall, etc.), substrate (wood, drywall, other), room location, result and concentration (milligrams per square centimeter).
The conclusion section of the report would reference the components that tested positive for lead paint, as defined by EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The report also includes paint stabilization recommendations for areas tested positve and highlighting those components with the highest reading for presence of lead.
What does encapsulation mean?
Encapsulation means coating the lead-painted surface with a thick, durable sealing material. The coating prevents lead dust from being released. Encapsulants are best used on building materials that are in good condition. Conventional paint is NOT an encapsulant.
Encapsulation usually does not generate much dust, and It may be less costly than other abatement options. However, encapsulation does not permanently remove the lead-based paint, as the lead source remains underneath the covering. Also, any renovation or repair work to encapsulated surfaces can disturb the lead-based paint. Encapsulants do not work on all surfaces and they need to be inspected regularly for damage and deterioration. Encapsulants can fail, especially if the underlying surface was not properly prepared or the encapsulant was not applied correctly.