CPSC Finds Home Lead Test Kits Unreliable

Today the Consumer Product Safety Commission  (CPSC) issued a press release reporting that the home lead check test kits are unreliable.  The CPSC found that of 104 total test results, fifty six (56) were false negatives – that is, reporting no lead present when in fact lead was present.  Two (2) reported false positives – that is, erporting lead was present when it was not.

The CPSC noted that the test kits were developed to detect lead in paint at concentrations much higher than the regulatory level of 0.06%.  It also pointed out some common interferences with te testing – including a non-lead coating over a lead containg base or paint colors that interfere with the color change.

As a result of this recent testing, the CPSC does not recommend that consumers use the home lead test check kits to test for lead.  The CPSC's press release states that "testing by a qualified laboratory and trained personnel is the only way to accurately assess the potential risk posed by a consumer product that may contain lead."

Well, that may be well and good, but I don't think the average consumer can afford to have a qualified laboratory test each and every toy in the toy box.   If you are concerned about the toys already in the home that aren't currently subject to a recall, you may well decide that the home lead test kits are a useful screen.

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