The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has called lead the "number one environmental health hazard facing American children."
Lead-based Paint - The Household Hazard
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has called lead the "number one environmental health hazard facing American children." They estimate that nearly 9% of American children under the age of six have blood lead levels that are above the threshold of concern. Lead-based paint can be found in
most pre-1978 housing.
Why is lead-based paint a hazard?
Lead is highly toxic and affects virtually every part of the body. It causes reduced IQ and attention span in children, reading and learning disabilities, hyperactivity, even death. Pregnant women and their fetuses are also at a great health risk.
How does it become a hazard?
Over time, lead-based paint deteriorates into dust, and is easily ingested. Children also sometimes chew on surfaces that contain lead-based paint. Though lead-based paint is a common source of lead poisoning, other sources include soil, drinking water, and ceramics.
Lead-Based Paint Inspection Services
A lead-based paint inspection will answer two basic questions: Is there lead-based paint in the home, and if so, where is it located? The answers can be provided quickly and economically. Using a specially designed portable instrument called an X-ray florescence analyzer (XRF), our certified lead inspectors are able to survey your entire house or apartment building for the presence of lead-based paint in a matter of hours. The survey is non-destructive to the surfaces in your home. Our inspectors are also able to take paint chip samples, if necessary, and have them analyzed
for lead by our State of California Department of Health Services accredited laboratory. Our comprehensive report will
include the amount of lead found in each building component. We will also offer suggestions about ways to minimize or
abate the hazard.
Risk Assessment Services
A risk assessment is performed to determine the presence of lead hazards and suggests appropriate hazard control measures. Like a lead-based paint inspection, a risk assessment can be performed quickly. Our certified risk assessors will closely examine the amount of lead in household dust, soil, and drinking water in your home. Our report will give you a clear understanding of the lead hazards in your home, a presentation of the various options for controlling lead hazards in the event that hazards are found (including interim control or abatement measures), and any recommended changes to household maintenance or housekeeping.
Combination Lead-Based Paint Inspection & Risk Assessment
It is sometimes advisable to conduct both a lead-based paint inspection and a risk assessment. By combining the two techniques, lead hazards can be analyzed in a more comprehensive fashion. If a paint inspection has been conducted before a risk assessment, the risk assessment will take less time, yet offer much more comprehesive advice. Substantial savings are available by combining these two services offerings.
How does an XRF work?
XRF analyzers contain a low-level radioactive source which detects concentrations of various elements in painted surfaces. A surface exposed to radiation from an XRF analyzer will absorb the radiation and then fluoresce, or emit, energy back to the analyzer at levels unique to the elements present. The XRF measures the lead emission, converts it to electrical signals, and calculates and displays the concentration.
Forensic Analytical is currently conducting XRF lead surveys with the Niton XRF. The Niton is considered by many experts in the lead-based paint industry to be the most technically advanced and accurate field XRF instruments. The Niton's performance characteristic sheet (PCS) published by the United States Environmental Protection Administration, states the instrument's outstanding capability for accuracy and reliability. A copy of the instrument's PCS is available at the Niton XRF Page. (requires Adobe Acrobat)
Forensic Analytical is one of a small number of firms in the nation with both on-site X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and laboratory analytical capabilities using atomic absorption (AA) spectrometry or Inductively Coupled Plasma
Spectroscopy (ICP). While XRF is a good quantitative instrument for smooth, painted surfaces, confirmatory analyses of XRF readings by AA or ICP are occasionally indicated. Surfaces that are curved or too small to accommodate the XRF probe must be sampled for laboratory analysis. It is also recommended that surface readings that fall within the inconclusive range of XRF readings be confirmed by laboratory analysis.
Forensic Analytical, 3777 Deport Road Suite 409, Hayward, CA 94545. Tel: 800-827-3274; Fax: 510-887-4218.