Update on Home Lead Testing Kits

Consumer Reports released a report of its testing of home lead test kits, and found that three of the five home lead test kits were a "useful though limited screening tools if you are worried about specific items in your home."  The story indicates that Homax Lead Check and the Lead Check Household Kit (made by the same company) were the easiest to use and identified accessible lead, although low concentrations could take up to 2 hours to turn the test stick "pink" to indicate the presence of lead. 

Although I published a blog yesterday about the CPSC's rejection of the home lead test kits because the CPSC found them unreliable, Consumer Reports' story suggest that the test kits remain a useful tool if you recognize their limitations.  In my complete unscientific testing, I have used the lead test kits and found them to be a good screen.  The positive indication of lead were confirmed with subsequent laboratory testing.  However, the lead test kits cannot detect lead beneath the surface and they are subject to intereference (like a red painted item may result in red paint turning the test kit's tip pink, as opposed to the presence of lead). 

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