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Inspection & Testing

Lead Testing

Our lead consultants can assist you in a number of ways:

  • Lead education
  • Inspection & sampling
  • Risk assessment
  • Clearances
  • Abatement recommendation
  • Interim Controls

JLM Environmentals’ reports clearly identify whether the inspected property contains lead based paint and identify the locations and condition of all positive components. The reports will discuss testing procedures, applicable regulatory limits and regulations, and cost effective treatment options if lead based paint is found. Our reports can be sent to lead abatement contractors to have them provide cost estimates to abate or control any found lead.

JLM Environmental performs all Lead Based Paint (LBP) inspections and risk assessments in accordance with all state and federal guidelines for the evaluation and control of LBP. All our technicians are certified as inspector/assessors via the California Department of Public Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch. Our inspectors will perform a surface by surface investigation for the presence of lead based paint in all building components in the interior and on the exterior: walls, doors, windows, baseboards, ceilings, eaves, rafters, fascia, baseboards, ceramic tile etc. Sampling procedures available are: dust swab, paint chip, XRF analyzers, soil or air samples.

Clearance Testing

Do I need Clearance testing after work is completed?

Yes, XRF dust wipe analysis protects all parties involved; the contractor, homeowner, and building residents. The clearance process provides the contractor with an impartial determination that the project was completed safely. The owner will have assurance that any amounts of leaded dust remaining in the house are at safe levels. Residents can be certain that the home is safe for them and their children.

After any lead hazard control activity, a lead clearance examination should be conducted. A lead clearance typically includes a visual inspection to make sure lead-based paint hazards have been properly addressed. Dust sampling methods are then used to verify that lead-contaminated dust has not been generated and spread during lead hazard control activities. The dust wipe sample would generally be taken on the floors, window sills and horizontal surfaces. In addition, air sampling can also be performed to test the air for lead content. The Clearance Test confirms whether the contractor/painter took all necessary precautions to contain the work area, and clean it. If a lead hazard is still  found to be present, the contractor must re-clean the work areas, and adjacent areas via wet methods and HEPA vacuuming until the work area has been cleared.

XRF Lead Paint Analyzer

When there’s no room for error, choose the industry standard for lead testing. We bring the lab to the field. Our XRF analyzer quickly identifies and quantifies lead in virtually all sample types: paint, dust, air, ceramic tile, soil and more. The XRF is considered the best field testing method available to inspectors today. It offers the accuracy of x-ray technology, speed (most readings take less than 5 seconds), and causes no damage to the building material. The XRF reads through multiple layers of paint and substrates to reveal the exact amount of lead present in a material. The XRF measures the amount of lead in paint and provides the inspector with a digital read-out that specifies which components of the home (if any) contain lead above the action level.

XRF Advantages include:

- Small, hand-held, portable, non destructive, instant results

Disadvantages of using chemical test kit  Chemical test kits are not recommended by the EPA because of the possibility of false readings and because the tests do not tell how much lead is present in the paint. Sometimes the color change is difficult to interpret--especially if dark colors are being tested. The chemical test does not tell you how much lead is present. Sometimes the test indicates lead is present when it is not (a false positive) and other times indicates lead is not present when it is (a false negative). The chemical tests only test the exposed layers, not the underlying layers that may be more likely to contain lead.

Interim Controls and Lead Abatement

If lead-based paint hazards are identified, you'll be given suggestions for safely dealing with the problem. If the suggestions include paint or ceramic tile removal then a state certified lead abatement company must perform the work.

Hiring a licensed lead abatement contractor will help keep you and your family safe from dangerous lead exposure.


Your assessment may find lead-based paint in your home that is in good condition and does not currently pose a health risk. In this case, you'll probably be advised to monitor the condition of the paint from time-to-time using Interim Controls.

Interim Controls is considered the more “temporary” solution, and usually includes repairing any substrate damage, removal of loose paint, surface preparation, and application of a heavy duty coating, called an encapsulate, which will seal the LBP better than your typical paint or primer. Interim controls are typically a more cost effective solution to controlling lead hazards and can be a very efficient, although not permanent option.

In addition your assessment may find lead-based paint to be in a damaged condition where it is flaking and/or peeling. You would then be advised to have this type of paint abated.

Lead Abatement a “permanent” solution when addressing lead hazards. Lead abatement most often refers to the actual removal of the LBP covered component itself. Another form of lead abatement is called enclosure. Enclosure is the process of permanently covering up and sealing the LBP covered components. An example of enclosure would be installing and sealing new vinyl siding over old LBP covered wood siding.

What you should know when hiring a contractor

California Contractors may NOT test paint for lead. Only California Certified Lead Inspector/Risk Assessors may take lead paint, dust or soil samples in public or residential buildings. In addition, RRP contractors may NOT test paint in California.  They must presume that any untested surface coating in all pre-1978 structures is lead based paint (LBP).  This applies to everyone in the state - not just contractors. This also applies to all structures - not just Target Housing and Child-Occupied Facilities. Any time work is performed in a pre-1978 structure in California that has not been tested, you must presume all surfaces are covered with lead-based paint.

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