Different lead testing methods to choose from

As per the American Healthy Homes Survey, 89% of houses constructed before 1978 have had lead-based paint, comprising 30 million homes in the US.

Lead paint is especially troublesome in NYC, where 70% of the homes were built before 1960. Hence, it is important to know how to test for lead paint in your home to secure yourself, and your family from any health hazard.

Tips for testing for lead paint

Lead test kits

The lead test kits use chemicals that change color as soon as they react with lead. You can buy them at your local store. There is a solution or swab which is rubbed on the paint, and if it changes color, it indicates the presence of lead.

However, this testing kit is not fully reliable and is neither recommended by the EPA. However, to get verified results, you can do three tests of the same area, and if you get two same readings, it means the test indicates actual results.


  • Affordable
  • Simple to use
  • Instant results


  • Not accurate
  • It doesn’t state the amount of lead present
  • Only checks the surface

X-Ray Fluorescence

X-Ray Fluorescence or XRF is a lead testing technique done using a machine managed by a certified lead inspector NYC.

The device measures the presence and quantity of lead in the old paint utilizing beams to remove electrons from the orbit, emitting specific energy.

An analyzer detects the readings to study the presence of lead and quantifies it showcasing the quantity of lead per unit area.

XRF is the best method for lead paint testing, allowing certified lead inspector NYC to get precise measurements of different surfaces in a short time.


  • Precise and instant results
  • Measures the quantity of lead present in the paint
  • Non-destructive
  • It can be tested on big and small areas


  • Costlier than lead test kits
  • Needs the services of a certified lead inspector NYC

Paint Chip Sampling

Paint chip sampling means removing paint chips as samples from different surfaces sent to a lab for evaluation. The samples should be 4 square inches for precise testing.

The absorption spectrophotometry method is used to check the samples and detect the presence of lead. If the lead in the samples surpasses 0.5%, the paint is marked lead-based.

The old layers should be checked first when taking the sample as they have higher chances of containing lead. It should be kept in mind for buildings which have been repainted.

Once the sample is taken, the area should be repaired to lower the risk of exposure if the paint has lead.


  • The most precise way for lead inspection in paint


  • Sampling needs to disturb various places on a surface
  • The surface needs repairing post sampling
  • Slow results sometimes can take weeks

So, if you are looking for a precise lead inspection, you can choose XRF. It is fast and reliable and is done by a professionally trained and certified lead assessment officer.

MKM Consulting is your one-stop solution to get environmental services in NYC. Get lead detected by their professionals using XRF. As a homeowner or landlord, if you require lead paint testing, check out the services here.