The dangers of lead poisoning are real, especially in older homes. If your home was built before 1978 there is a good chance that lead paint or pipes/solder was used.
Lead paint is generally not dangerous in its normal form and adhered to the walls but it becomes a hazard when its scraped off and ingested or is somehow removed and turned to dust and inhaled.
The EPA has adjusted their laws and now require contractors to have special certifications to work on homes older than 1978 so they know how to properly work in homes with lead paint.
There is a do-it-yourself solution to testing for lead paint and it’s called Klean-Strip D-Lead Paint Test Kits and it is EPA recognized and ETA verified to test for lead and lead chromate paint. It will also determine if EPA regulated lead based paint is not present. The D-Lead Paint Test kit employs color change technology, to provide you with easy to read results in 13 minutes or less.
The kit has everything you need for six test samples and with a new baby in the house we decided to test the paint in our home.
We first cleaned the razor blade and took a paint sample from a small chip behind the door. You need to make sure and remove not just the surface paint but any layers below.
You then need to cut paint into about four small pieces and drop it into a provided solution. Shake 10 seconds then add five drops of another solution and shake again for 10 seconds. After you will see your results with a handy color coded viewer that’s right on the bottle. If the solution is darker than the test color then there is a good possibility your paint has lead in it. There is also another strip to drop into the solution to verify.
This is a very easy test to do and only takes a few minutes and is worth the extra piece of mind. We’re happy to report that our test came back negative even though our home was built in the 50′s.
You can purchase the D-Lead Paint Test Kit, as well as other Klean-Strip products at home centers, mass merchants, and hardware stores and it will cost about $35.
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Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.