Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lead Paint Testing - So Simple!

It's been long known that the ingestion of lead, particularly by young children, can be very damaging to brain function. Lead paint was commonly used both inside and outside homes up until 1978. After 1978 it became illegal to sell lead-based paint in Massachusetts. Here is the description of the Massachusetts Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

At property transfer, the home seller must disclose what they know about the presence of lead paint within the home. Unfortunately, the homeowner generally has limited, or no, knowledge of lead paint in the house. In that case, if the buyer or the buyer's lender needs to know about the existence of lead paint in a home, then lead paint testing is the only way. One of my clients recently needed to do this.

The testing is accomplished by hiring a licensed lead paint tester, who brings with him a 'gun' that fires cobalt-57 at the test surface and measures the reflection. This unit is a XRF spectrum analyzing system, known as a LPA-1 Lead Paint Analyzer. This gun is fairly small and is simple to operate. Each paint sample can be analyzed in a few seconds. A large home can be tested in just over an hour. Antique homes will take longer.

For my client, the test revealed that the home contained no lead paint. Yeah!

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