Lead Testing Services

Rarefied Air Environmental consultants are trained and certified by the California Department of Public Health perform Lead-Based-Paint Inspections and Lead Clearance Testing. If your home was built before 1979 in San Diego, you should have suspected lead-based painted surfaces tested.

Note: Federal Law requires that individuals receive certain information before renting or buying pre-1979 housing: Landlords must disclose known information about lead-based paint and paint hazards before leases take effect. These leases must include a disclosure form pamphlet about lead-based paint. Sellers must also disclose known information about lead-based paint and paint hazards before selling a house. Contracts must include a disclosure form and buyers have up to 10 days to check for lead hazards. Federal law also requires that contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb paint in homes, condos, offices, commercial sites, child care facilities, and schools built before 1979 must be certified and trained to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

XRF Lead Paint Analyzer

Rarefied Air Environmental utilizes the latest XRF technology in every Lead-based paint inspection. All of 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.


Well, it’s like an X-ray, able to see through all layers of paint and detect whether lead is present. This high-tech portable device won’t do any damage to the building materials.

Benefits of XRF are:

No cutting of paint chips, no laboratories and no touchup painting
Immediate, accurate results. We’ll tell you if there is lead on-site
Safe effective testing. Since we don’t cut or score the walls, we eliminate exposing paint

lead gun

Lead / Health

Lead was once a common additive found in paints and pottery 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, but it is children under the age of six who are particularly at risk and vulnerable to more permanent side 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-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.

Inspections perform the following protocols by taking a lead paint chip sample and having our local accredited laboratory analyze it.

Lead Clearance Test

Clearance testing should be conducted after any repair or renovation activity that disturbs lead-based paint. Our consultants will visually inspect the property to confirm that all necessary abatement work has been properly completed and that the space was thoroughly cleaned (i.e. dust-free) and is safe for reoccupation.