Lead Testing Kits Approved by EPA

EPA's Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule allows Certified Renovators to use an EPA-recognized paint test kit to determine whether paint is lead-based. If a Certified Renovator uses an EPA-recognized paint test kit to determine that the paint on every component being disturbed is not lead-based paint, then the renovation is not covered by the RRP rule. See 40 CFR 745.82(a)(2).

EPA uses 40 CFR 745.88 to evaluate and recognize paint test kits. It posts a list of all recognized paint test kits at http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/testkit.htm. As of August 31, 2011, EPA has recognized the following three paint test kits:

  • Professional LeadCheck Lead Test Kit: This kit may not be used on paint on plaster and drywall due to chemical interferences. If you are working on red or pink paint, they may give a false positive. These kits are similar to the ones sold in retail stores, but not exactly the same. The professional kits contain a confirmation card. Retail stores typically do not sell kits with these cards since they contain lead. The Certified Renovator must use a Confirmation Card to confirm that the kit is working properly. The swabs are about $2.25 each when purchased in bulk quantities.
  • State of Massachusetts Lead Test Kit: This test kits is available only to certified Massachusetts State Lead Inspectors and Risk Assessors. Renovators may not use these test kits.
  • D-Lead:  EPA recognizes test results acquired from the use of  ESCA Tech's D-Lead Paint Test Kit. The D-Lead kit can determine that lead-based paint is not present on wood, metal alloys containing iron, drywall, and plaster surfaces when used by a certified renovator properly trained in its use.  

The image at left shows a Professional LeadCheck Paint Test Kit. This result is not unusual: the window sill has lead-based paint on the whole area shown here. Where it is yellow, the tester did not get through the surface layer(s) of newer paint that does not contain lead. It is critical to test the oldest paint, not just the paint on the surface.

Pursuant to 40 CFR 745.86(c), "When test kits are used, the renovation firm must, within 30 days of the completion of the renovation, provide identifying information as to the manufacturer and model of the test kits used, a description of the components that were tested including their locations, and the test kit results to the person who contracted for the renovation." 

Under the federal lead hazard disclosure law, any owner of the property who receives this report from a renovator must disclosure the results, whether positive or negative, to future buyers and future tenants.


Purchase EPA-approved lead testing kits from the NCHH Webstore
EPA Fact Sheet comparing approved test kits
3M LeadCheck Swabs


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