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What If No Lead-Based Paint Is Found In My Home? Lead can still be present in paint which is not classified as "lead-based." This would occur when the paint has a lower amount of lead than the Federal government regulates. If lead is present in the paint, lead dust can be released when the paint deteriorates, or is disturbed during remodeling, renovation, sanding, or some maintenance work that breaks the surface of the paint. This is especially important in homes built before 1978. Since the amount of lead in paint was limited by Federal regulation in 1978, lead exposure during remodeling and renovation is not as much a concern in newer homes. So you should be careful when there is work that involves extensive breaking of painted surfaces in a home built before 1978. Make sure any dust and debris created by breaking painted surfaces are thoroughly cleaned up, painted surfaces are repaired and left intact when the work is done, and children stay away from the work areas until all repairs and clean-up are completed.

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Figure 151: Test for lead in your water also.

How Are Dust Samples Collected And Analyzed? The most common method for dust collection is a surface wipe sample. Most certified Risk Assessors will use baby wipes or wet wipes to collect dust. If dust is collected from a floor, an area of one square foot is usually sampled. The area is wiped several times in different directions to pick up all the dust. After sampling, the wipe is placed in a container and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The certified Risk Assessor will also collect wipe samples from windows and measure the surface area wiped. In some situations, special types of vacuum samplers may be used for dust collection. These are different from home vacuum cleaners, although some may look the same.

The certified lead based paint professional must send dust samples to a laboratory recognized by EPA's NLLAP that is proficient for dust analysis. Your State may have its own lead program and different regulations. For more information, contact NLIC at 1-800424-LEAD or visit www.epa.gov/lead.

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Figure 152: Test for lead in the soil and exterior painted surfaces where a small child could reach or chew on.

 

What Do The Results Of Dust Sampling Mean? Dust sample results are usually expressed as a weight of lead per unit area of surface. The units will usually be micrograms of lead per square foot. For example, a floor wipe sample may be expressed as 50 micrograms of lead per square foot. This is written as 50 ug/ft2. The certified lead-based paint professional will provide guidance in interpreting the results of the dust testing.

How Are Soil Samples Collected And Analyzed? Soil samples are collected from bare soil areas (soil with no grass or other covering) near your home where children play and from bare soil areas near the house foundation or drip line. Optional sampling areas are gardens, pathways, and pet sleeping areas. Samples are collected by coring or scooping methods that take the top half-inch of soil. Samples of non-bare soil may sometimes be collected. Soil samples must be sent to a laboratory recognized by EPA's NLLAP that is proficient in soil analysis. Your State may have its own lead program and different regulations. For more information, contact NLIC at 1-800-424-LEAD or visit  www.epa.gov/lead.

What Do The Results Of Soil Testing Mean? Results of soil samples are expressed as a weight of lead per unit weight of soil, usually in parts per million. For example, a soil sample result may be 300 parts per million. This is written 300 ppm. The certified lead-based paint professional will help you interpret the results of the soil testing.

What Are Composite Samples? Composite samples are combinations of individual samples analyzed together in a laboratory to obtain a single average result. Both dust and soil samples may be composited. For example, a floor dust sample may be collected in each of three rooms and combined to obtain one composite dust sample to be analyzed by the laboratory. Or four soil samples taken in a play area may be combined to obtain one composite soil sample. Paint samples may also be composited, but this is not as common as compositing dust and soil samples.

Composite samples may often be used in risk assessments and lead hazard screens to reduce the cost of laboratory analysis or to increase the representativeness of a single sample. The disadvantage of composite samples is that information is not available for each room (or location) from which samples were collected. The certified Risk Assessor will interpret composite sample results, if any. The advantage of composite samples is that information is obtained at reduced cost or more samples are collected for the same cost.

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