Other Frequently Asked Questions about Lead Testing

What Are Home Test Kits? Home test kits are used in the home to detect lead in paint, soil, and dust (and, in some cases, water, dishware, glasses, and ceramics). A reaction occurs causing a color change when chemicals in the kit are exposed to lead.

Does EPA Recommend Test Kits For Paint, Dust, Or Soil Testing? No. EPA does not currently recommend home test kits to detect lead in paint, dust, or soil. Studies show that these kits are not reliable enough to tell the difference between high and low levels of lead. At this time, the kits are not recommended for testing performed by either homeowners or certified lead-based paint professionals.

May I Collect Paint, Dust, And Soil Samples Myself And Send Them To A Laboratory? You may do this, although your samples may not be of the same quality as those collected by a certified lead-based paint professional. If you want to collect samples yourself, it is recommended that you send paint, dust, or soil samples to a laboratory recognized by EPA's NLLAP. A list of NLLAP laboratories is available from NLIC by calling 1-800-424-LEAD. If the samples contain high levels of lead, you should have a certified lead-based paint professional do a risk assessment of your home.

What About Testing For Lead In Water? Lead pipes and lead solder were once used in plumbing and lead leaked into drinking water. Water testing is not routinely conducted by certified lead-based paint testing professionals, but you may ask for it as an optional service. If you would like information about testing for lead in water, call the EPA Drinking Water Hotline t 1-800-426-4791.

What About Testing For Lead In Furniture, Dishware, and Mini-Blinds? Lead may be present in the paint on furniture. If the furniture is old or the paint is damaged, you may want to have it tested. A certified Inspector or certified Risk Assessor may do this testing for you. Lead may also be present in some glassware (for example, lead crystal) and in glazes found on ceramic ware. The lead may be absorbed into the drink and food stored in these items. Contact NLIC at 1-800-424-LEAD or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Information Line t 1-800-FDA-4010 for information on testing glassware and ceramics or visit


The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning that some mini-blinds may contain lead. For further information, contact the CPSC hotline at 1-800-6382772 or access the CPSC webpage at


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Figure 153: If you are buying, renting, or renovating an older home, then test for lead for your family's safety!

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