On July 15, EPA opened the door for Lead-Safe certified renovators to participate in paint chip sampling. Many believe that laboratory testing is the only means by which one can prove the work completed is clean and clear of lead. In other words, they subscribe to tossing out the card and throwing in the lab work.
Think you might be one of those "Lead-Safe Lab-Safe" contractors? Here are a few pointers on finding EPA certified testing laboratories.
For a full list of EPA certified labs, visit the National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (NLLAP) website (www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/nllap.htm.). Here you will find a wealth of information about the NLLAP. The site also posts a list of recognized testing laboratories that can be downloaded in a .pdf file.
This list is updated monthly and provides a list by state of EPA certified labs, including the laboratory name, location, and phone number. The list also notes if there is commercial availability and if the lab tests both paint chips and dust wipes.
A monthly list of accredited labs can also be obtained by calling the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323). Currently, there are over 120 laboratories listed across the country.
However, don't despair if there is no lab in your neighborhood, as there is availability for testing via overnight delivery. As an example, EMSL Analytical, Inc. the largest network of testing labs in the country with 33 locations nationwide, offers free overnight shipping via FedEx or UPS with a minimum of $100 worth of analytics. So, if you are not close enough to one of the locations to "stop-and-drop," you can drop samples in the nearest overnight collection box.
Additionally, EMSL Analytical provides free sampling materials, such as free zip bags, tubes and dust wipes, since the laboratory network tests both chips and wipes. "We have renovators who prefer to use our services in order to have objective proof that they have performed the renovation without leaving behind lead dust," says Josh Trowman, national sales manager for EMSL Analytical, Inc. "Having an independent lab verify the jobsite was left lead dust-free is great insurance for the contractor. It doesn't leave open any door to question whether the work was performed correctly."
The typical charge for chip testing at an EMSL Analytical lab is between $10 and $20 a chip. Testing for dust wipes similarly runs between $10 and $20 per wipe. Contractors can have rush testing performed in as quickly as 3 hours, but EMSL also provides turnaround options up to 2 weeks.
For more information about the services of EMSL Analytical, Inc., feel free to contact Josh Trowman, at Jtrowman@EMSL.com or 888-958-8170.