You have just purchased a house built before 1978 and you're worried about the potential dangers of lead. So you take a trip to the hardware store or choose to buy an at-home lead paint testing kit online from vendors such as Home Depot. Is this a good idea? Or, should you have your home professionally tested?
The major advantage of at-home test kits is they are an inexpensive option. But, can they be trusted? According to Consumer Reports they can, but the reliability is not without a caveat. First, you must make sure you do the test properly. Depending on which kit you get, following the instructions are not always easy, and reading the results are, at times, challenging. Plus, there are two types of tests. One uses sodium sulfide, the other rhodizonate. Each have issues with particular colors of paint.
Moreover, there are differences between kits that test for paint containing lead and kits that test for lead dust issues. Those who know (or assume) lead is present in their home take the latter test. They simply want to know whether or not the lead will be an issue. These tests also require mail-in results, as well as a set of step-by-step instructions. From Maine Public Health, here is a video of the process.
Yet, even if your home passes a lead dust kit test, that doesn't mean your house will stay free of lead problems. With at-home tests, your nerves could eat at you. "Did I do them right?" Perhaps if you lack confidence in such tests, you may want to have a professional inspect your house, identify the risks, and recommend corrections.
If you've determined lead is not a problem (for now), but you know lead is present, wouldn't you want to take the necessary steps to prevent it from becoming a problem in the future? If so, contact us. ECOBOND® LBP is our patented lead sealant and treatment formulacontains an advanced technology thatseals and treats the lead and lead dust in lead-based paint. The formula includes lead treatment reagents, paint penetrators and high quality water based paint providing up to a 95% reduction in lead hazards and controls the spread of airborne lead dust by up to 99% and now resists acid rain.
Options for Lead Paint Testing
If you are a parent, likely one of your number one priorities is to keep your kids safe. You child-proof your home when they are little, buy them helmets and knee pads for riding scooters and bikes, and watch them carefully on playgrounds and in pools. You hold their hands when crossing streets and strap them into car seats and strollers so they'll be safe from harm.
Yet you may not realize a hidden danger your children may be exposed to every day in your own home: lead. Any home or facility built before 1978 likely had lead paint put on its walls, doors, trim, and windowsills. Children under the age of 6 are most at risk for lead poisoning and the toxic effects it can have on their health. According to a brochure released by the Environmental Protection Agency, this is because their growing bodies absorb more lead, their brains are more susceptible to the damaging effects of lead, and they are more likely to put things in their mouths as they are very oral at these young ages. This means they may have lead dust on their hands while crawling around and ingest it when they put their hands in their mouths, or they may eat fallen paint chips. They are also more likely to chew on door frames and windowsills, exposing them to lead paint particles. Also, if you are pregnant and breathing in lead dust particles from the air in your home, your baby is at risk in-utero.
According to the brochure from the EPA, risks to children include nervous system damage, learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder, behavior problems, muscle damage, and hearing loss among other things, and can even lead to death. This is a real and present danger.
So what can you do about this risk? First, if you are considering purchasing a home built before 1978 or are currently living in one, you will need to proceed with lead paint testing of the home as soon as possible. We recommend buying a kit from Home Depot. You currently have three options for lead paint testing in your home:
- Purchase a home test kit from a home improvement store. These are inexpensive and produce quick results. However they don't tell you how much lead is present.
- Send in samples to accredited laboratories. A list of laboratories can be found here at the EPA website. You will want to call the laboratory and find out instructions of how to collect the samples and send them in. The lab will be able to tell you how much lead is present in a given sample. This is a more expensive route than a home test kit, but is more thorough.
- Hire a Licensed Lead Risk Assessor. You can hire an assessor to test for lead as well as to make sure all the lead has been properly contained or removed. This also costs more than a home test kit but will be more thorough.
Once the presence of lead has been confirmed, you must choose to contain it or remove it, or both. Removal must be done carefully by a professional since removal releases lead particles into the air. Fortunately there is a safer option available to homeowners and contractors alike. ECOBOND® LBP is a "specialty paint product formulated to seal and treat the hazards of lead based paint." It seals in the lead so that it is no longer a hazard or makes it safe for removal by professionals.
Painting over the lead based paint with ECOBOND® LBP is a cost-effective option for homeowners who want safety without breaking the bank. Once this product is applied you won't need to worry that you and your children will be exposed to lead in your home from paint sources. ECOBOND® LBP Lead Defender® is specially formulated with patented lead treatment reagents made with food-grade additives to take advantage of the natural binding properties with lead. This proprietary blend provides advanced human bioavailability reduction, in case of accidental ingestion of the treated lead paint dust and chips. (your specific results may vary)
Third party independently documented test results utilizing US EPA method confirming the effectiveness of ECOBOND® LBP in protecting human health.
Contact us for more information on lead paint testing and the ECOBOND® LBP products we offer.