Lead

EPA Recognition of Lead Test Kits

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This page is a resource for trained professionals to check which test kits are EPA recognized and can be used, with appropriate training, to determine if they need to follow the Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule. This page is not for general consumer use.

On this page you will find:

Overview

Renovation, repair and painting activities often disturb painted surfaces. If these surfaces had been painted with lead-based paint, serious lead contamination and exposure may result. According to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) survey of the prevalence of lead-based paint hazards in the nation's housing, approximately 38 million pre-1978 U.S. dwellings contain lead-based paint. Before undertaking this work in a home built prior to 1978, it is important to either assume that the area undergoing work contains lead-based paint and take appropriate precautions, or to accurately determine whether lead-based paint is present. In the 2008 Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program (RRP) Rule, the Agency described criteria for recognizing test kits that detect lead in paint. The federal standards for lead-based paint in target housing and child-occupied facilities is a lead content in paint that equals or exceeds a level of 1.0 milligram per square centimeter (mg/cm2) or 0.5 percent by weight.

Initially, a lead test kit could be EPA-recognized if it met the negative response criterion of no more than 5 percent false negatives, with 95 percent confidence for paint containing lead at or above the regulated level, 1.0 mg/cm2 or 0.5 percent by weight. All three currently-recognized test kits meet this criterion. The recognition of such kits will last until EPA publicizes its recognition of the first test kit that meets both the negative response and positive response criteria outlined in the RRP rule.

Any newly recognized test kit must meet both the negative and positive response criteria of no more than 5 percent false negatives and no more than 10 percent false positives, each with 95 percent confidence, as related to the regulated level of lead in paint of 1.0 (mg/cm2) or 0.5 percent by weight. As yet, no test kit has been developed to meet this criteria.

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EPA-Recognized Test Kits

EPA has recognized three lead test kits for use in complying with the RRP rule. They are the 3M™ LeadCheck™, D-Lead®, and the State of Massachusetts test kits.

  • 3M™ LeadCheck™. EPA recognizes that when used by a Certified Renovator, the 3M™ LeadCheck™ lead test kit can reliably determine that regulated lead-based paint is not present on wood, ferrous metal (alloys that contain iron), or drywall and plaster surfaces. Obtain the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) test kit laboratory evaluation report. Also obtain the 3M™ LeadCheck™ laboratory evaluation report (PDF) . Certified renovators seeking to use the 3M™ LeadCheck™ test kit for purposes of meeting requirements in the RRP rule can purchase the 3M™ LeadCheck™ test kits from either 3M™ LeadCheck™ directly or from certain retail outlets. To order a 3M™ LeadCheck™ test kit call 800-494-3552 or contact 3M™ at leadcheck.com/contactus. Exit

    NOTE: FOR USE ON PLASTER AND DRYWALL, users of 3M™ LeadCheck™ should download updated instructions for using the test kit on plaster and drywall (PDF) (2 pp, 391K). Exit The updated procedure for testing plaster and drywall is slightly different than the procedure used previously. 3M™ LeadCheck™ test kits shipped to retail outlets after April 1, 2012, will contain the updated instructions. Kits purchased prior to April 1, 2012, or that contain the older instructions can still be used but the user must follow the updated instructions when testing plaster and drywall.
  • D-Lead®. Based on the results of the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) report of vendor-submitted lead test kits, EPA recognizes that when used by a Certified Renovator, the D-Lead® paint test kit manufactured by ESCA Tech, Inc., can reliably determine that regulated lead-based paint is not present on wood, ferrous metal (alloys that contain iron), or drywall and plaster surfaces. Obtain the EPA environmental technology verification report on the D-Lead® test kit (PDF) . Certified renovators seeking to use the D-Lead® paint test kit for purposes of meeting requirements in the RRP rule can purchase it from certain distributors and retail outlets. Locate a distributor or retailer at www.esca-tech.com, Exit e-mail rrp@esca-tech.com or call 414-962-3006.

  • State of Massachusetts. EPA recognizes that when used by trained professionals, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts lead test kit can reliably determine that regulated lead-based paint is not present on drywall and plaster; it is not recognized for use on wood and ferrous metal (alloys that contain iron) surfaces. Obtain the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) test kit laboratory evaluation report.

Read a fact sheet on the EPA-recognized test kits (PDF) .

For any questions pertaining to the recognition of these kits, contact the National Lead Information Center.

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Lead Test Kit Environmental Technology Verification

EPA's Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program has completed its verification of the performance of four vendor-submitted lead test kits developed to meet the false negative and false positive performance criteria for improved test kits set forth under the 2008 RRP Rule.

Based on the ETV results, there are no kits that have met both the false negative and false positive response criteria requirements; however, there is one kit that met only the false negative response criterion (D-Lead®), and it was recognized for use as a false negative-only kit on August 31, 2010.

Get the individual test kit verification reports and a description of the ETV lead test kit verification program.

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