Lead Surveys

Rarefied Air Environmental technicians are trained and certified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to perform Lead-Based-Paint Inspections and Lead Clearance Testing. If your home was built prior to 1978 (Prior to 1979 in San Diego) you should have suspected lead-based painted surfaces tested.

Lead-Based-Paint Inspection is defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a surface-by-surface investigation to determine the presence or absence of Lead-Based-Paint. The inspector will perform a visual check of the property, looking for potential lead-based paint hazards such as peeling, chipping, or flaking paint, and examine settled dust samples on window sills, doorways, and floors to see if they contain lead. This type of testing will determine the lead content of each type of surface that is sampled.

All findings will be placed in a formal report with the proper diagrams and documentation needed to comply with local, state and federal regulations from small renovation or repair projects to demolition activities!

XRF Lead Paint Analyzer

Rarefied Air Environmental utilizes the latest XRF technology on every lead-based paint inspection. All our inspectors are trained and certified to use an XRF (x-ray fluorescence) analyzer for lead inspections. XRF testing is non-destructive. No cutting of paint chips, no waiting on laboratories and no touchup of painted surfaces. XRF analyzers can detect not only lead-based paint on the surface but all layers of paint that may be present under the other layers of paint. At every lead-based paint inspection a XRF analyzer is used. Results are instantaneous, and you will know at the time of inspection if lead-based paints are present within the home.

Lead and Its Effects on Health

Lead was once a common additive found in paints, pottery glazes, ceramic tile glazes, gasoline, indoor plumbing, and various other materials. Today we understand lead to be a toxin that poses serious health risks for individuals with either intense or prolonged exposure to lead-containing materials. Adults can experience lasting complications such as high blood pressure and hypertension, headaches, irritability, low appetite, and reduced sensation; However, it is children under the age of six who are particularly at risk and vulnerable to more permanent health effects of lead poisoning.

Because of lead’s ability to interfere with brain and nervous system processes, developmental and behavioral problems such as attention issues, aggression, and reduced IQ can occur even in cases of mild lead poisoning. Since levels can slowly build in the body over time, often there are no visible symptoms of lead poisoning.

The most common way lead from the environment can enter the body is through inhalation or normal hand-to-mouth activities–like playing and eating (especially in young children)–of lead-contaminated dust, soil, or deteriorating paint chips.

Unlike other health issues, lead poisoning is entirely preventable. HUD estimates that at least 24 million American homes still contain lead-based paint risks and lead poisoning continues to be a major health problem for children under the age of six.

If you own or rent housing built before 1979, if you regularly visit an older home or childcare facility, or if a friend/relative has been diagnosed with lead poisoning, you should consider testing your property, your children, and yourself for harmful levels of lead. People purchasing real estate, landlords, and individuals or construction crews performing repairs, renovations, or remodels on homes built before 1979 are also advised to be aware of the potential risk of lead poisoning.

Lead Dust Wipe Clearance Sampling

Clearance testing should be conducted after any lead abatement or clean-up activities that disturb lead-based-paint. Our technicians will visually inspect the property to confirm that all necessary abatement work has been properly completed and that the space was thoroughly cleaned. Surface dust wipe samples should be collected for analysis of lead content in dust. Levels will be compared to the Environmental Protection Agency recommended clearance levels to determine if the work area is safe for re-occupancy.

Lead in Soil Sampling

Lead-based-paint was commonly used on outdoor wooden components in the U.S in the early 1900’s through the 1970’s. As the paint becomes damaged over the years, the surrounding soil may become contaminated with lead. This can of course lead to lead poisoning in children when they play in outdoor open soil areas. We can collect soil samples to determine whether lead in soil levels are acceptable or whether recent abatement activities have been performed successfully.