Lead paint testing has become a concern of many individuals since lead poisoning has become more common. Lead poisoning usually occurs when children eat paint chips. The State of New Jersey has issued an advisory that lead paint may have been used in all structures built or painted prior to 1978. Consult your attorney to determine all details and EPA testing requirements prior to closing.
The only way to test for lead paint is by:
- Taking a sample and sending it to a laboratory,
- Using a swab test that will identify lead paint or
- Use an XRF or similar device to analyze all surfaces down to their base product.
Sending Samples to the Lab
This is a very laborious task since paint chip samples must be taken from a variety of areas throughout the structure. The laboratory can only certify that the samples do not contain lead, not the structure that they were taken from. Lead paint and/or products may still be present underneath the area where the actual samples were taken from or in other areas where samples were not taken.
Lead Swab Test
These types of tests can be reliable but they only register (turn pink) when lead products actually come into contact with the swab surface. Lead products may still be present under the surface and in other areas that were not tested.
An XRF or similar device
These types of devices will actually analyze (x-ray like) the entire surface all the way down to the basecoat. If any lead is present, it will be picked up by the machine. This type of test is always advised and generally costs about $250-$350.00 for a single family dwelling. Most EPA certified companies will provide mitigation options at an additional cost.