Healthy Home: Check for Lead in Plastic Toys and Painted Wood
Home Lead Testing
There are DIY home lead test kits available online and in some hardware stores, but the more reliable way of evaluating a home and its contents for lead risks is to hire a lead inspector. A lead inspector may utilize bulk sampling, which is destructive and will leave holes in materials, or an X-ray fluorescence gun (XRF) as a screening tool. Home lead testing comes in many flavors, and in general you get what you pay for.
Healthy Building Science is pleased to announce that we now have an XRF lead testing gun for detecting lead in painted wood and lead in plastic toys, the Heurosis pb200i. It’s a state-of-the-art lead testing meter that enables real-time screening without destructive sampling methods.
The XRF analyzer provides lead testing solutions for household painted wood or plastic items as well as toys marketed toward teenagers such as fidget spinners. The 14+ age group avoids the more stringent toy regulations for toys targeted at children under 12, who are more likely to put toys in their mouth.
How does an XRF work? In XRF sample analysis, a sample is excited by high energy photons and the sample lead content is determined non-destructively and rapidly.
Lead Testing Methods
One may also utilize lead dust wipe sampling, soil and water testing, and other techniques to determine if lead may be a hazard in any building.
Please contact us to schedule a home lead inspection by a professional lead inspector or let us know if you would like to be notified of our next meet up in the San Francisco Bay Area for testing toys and other household products for lead.
Note that our XRF technology is used for screening purpose only and does not satisfy the requirement for third party accredited testing under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.
We are experts at finding clues to building related illness through our professional home inspection services. Using experience and high tech equipment, we provide a thorough inspection along with expert recommendations in an easy to use format. We offer professional lead testing and also sample air, dust, soil and water for a variety of other pollutants. We can also provide a Lead Hazard Inspection, recommended if you live in an older home with paint that is damaged or on door and window friction points.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
If you live in a pre-1981 home or multi-family building you should consider lead testing and lead inspections if:
- anyone has been tested and found to have elevated blood lead levels.
- you are about to embark on a painting project or remodel.
- any paint is chalking, peeling or flaking.
- you have young children or immune compromised individuals in the home.
- there is any concern about lead risks or lead exposure.
We often provide peace of mind with lead inspections, but sometimes we do find real lead hazards. If you have any questions please