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Can a homeowner use an EPA-recognized lead test kit to check for lead-based paint?

Answer: A number of lead test kits are available for consumer purchase in most retail hardware stores; however, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states that consumers should exercise caution when using these lead test kits to evaluate consumer products for potential lead exposures.  Find more information online.

To test for lead-based paint in your home, EPA recommends that you hire a certified inspector or risk assessor.  For determining whether lead-based paint is present in pre-1978 housing and childcare facilities that are subject to renovation, repair and painting regulations, EPA has recognized three lead test kits, but recognition only applies to use by Lead-Safe Certified renovators.

You may also choose to contact a laboratory recognized under EPA’s National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (NLLAP) for lead paint chip, dust or soil sample analysis. A list of available NLLAP laboratories, including their recognized sample type(s), is available online.

Question Number: 23002-33650

Find a printable PDF copy of all frequent questions pertaining to lead.