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Lead Services

We have licensed lead inspectors to perform complete or partial building surveys for lead. Call for estimates.

  • Paint inspections (XRF testing) - only tells you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home (not if there is a hazard or how you should deal with it).
  • Risk assessments (XRF testing) - tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure (such as peeling paint and lead dust). It also tells you what actions to take to address these hazards.
  • Air quality testing
  • Dust wipe testing
  • On-site monitoring

You can also mail or drop off a sample of the material to Techtron Engineering for testing.

 

Why should you be concerned about lead?

Lead is a toxic metal that was used for many years in paint and other products found in and around our homes. Lead also can be emitted into the air from industrial sources and leaded aviation gasoline, and lead can enter drinking water from plumbing materials. Lead poisoning is a concern for both children and adults - breathing or eating anything that contains too much lead can cause serious health problems. Young children suffering from lead poisoning can experience learning, behavior and health problems, seizures or death. Children six years old and under are most at risk. Adults exposed to too much lead can suffer from high blood pressure, kidney damage, fertility problems or death. The good news is that lead poisoning is preventable. 

 

What are some common sources of lead?

Do you know if your home contains lead? About 75% of homes built before 1978 contain some lead-based paint. The older the home, the more likely it is to contain lead-based paint. You should assume that any home built before 1978 contains some lead.

Caution: Do not use your household vacuum to clean up paint chips or leaded dust.  The filter in your household vacuum cleaner is not designed to pick up and hold small particles of lead.  Using a regular vacuum cleaner will spread lead dust into the air.

Paint. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead-based paint from housing in 1978. Some states stopped its use even earlier. Be aware that lead-based paint may have been used on cribs, highchairs, windows, woodwork, walls, doors, railings, banisters, ceilings, porches and fences. Peeling, chipping, chalking, or cracking lead-based paint is a hazard and needs immediate attention. Painting over chipping or peeling lead-based paint does not make it safe.  You must first safely remove chipping or peeling lead-based paint before repainting. Lead-based paint that is in good condition is usually not a hazard.

Household dust. Dust can pick up lead from deteriorated, interior lead-based paint or tracked-in, contaminated soil.  Lead dust can be created during home remodeling or renovation projects, when lead-based paint is dry scraped, dry sanded, or heated. Dust also forms when painted surfaces bump or rub together. Lead chips and dust can get on surfaces and objects that people touch. Settled lead dust can re-enter the air when people vacuum, sweep or walk through it. Household dust is a common source of lead for young children.  Your house can look clean and still have lead in it. 

Soil. Soil can be contaminated with lead from deteriorated, exterior paint on homes, buildings, or fences. As the result of past use of leaded gasoline, lead can also be found in the soil near major roadways or intersections in urban areas. 

Drinking water. Lead levels in your water are likely to be highest if your home or water system has lead pipes or copper pipes with lead solder. Plumbing put in before 1930 may contain lead pipes.  Plumbing installed before 1985 may contain lead based solder in the copper joints in the water supply system.  Brass faucets and ball valves may contain lead.  Minnesota banned the use of lead-based solder in 1985. You cannot see, smell or taste lead, and boiling your water will not get rid of lead. If you think your plumbing might have lead in it:

  • Use only cold water for drinking and cooking.
  • Run water for 15 to 30 seconds before drinking it, especially if you have not used your water for a few hours.

The only way to know if your water has lead in it is to have it tested by a certified lab. Techtron Engineering can test your water for you.

Work. If you work with lead, you could bring it home on your hands or clothes. Shower and change clothes before coming home. Launder your work clothes separately from the rest of your family's clothes.

Old painted toys and furniture.

Food containers. Food and liquids stored in lead crystal or lead-glazed pottery or porcelain. Food can become contaminated because lead can leach in from these containers.

Industry. Lead smelters or other industries that release lead into the air.

Hobbies. Hobbies that use lead, such as making pottery or stained glass, or refinishing furniture.

Folk remedies. Folk remedies that contain lead, such as "greta" and "azarcon" used to treat an upset stomach.

 

Are you planning to remodel an older home?

There are a number of areas that should be tested before you begin work.

Exterior Lead Paint Removal - Lead paint was used on exterior surfaces because it stood up to weather and sunlight.

Interior Lead Paint Removal - Areas with chipped and peeling paint (ex. window troughs or wells, sills, on radiators, walls, doors, etc.) should be tested before scraping and repainting.

Replacing Doors, Windows and Trim - It may be easier and faster to replace an entire building component rather than remove the paint from it.

Carpet Removal - Lead paint chips, dust, and soil can be tracked into the home and get into the carpet. Carpeting can also be contaminated with lead during remodeling or repair work. Steps should be taken to avoid spreading the lead dust that has accumulated in the carpet.

Lead Contaminated Soil - Older homes may shed lead paint chips into the soil around the foundation of the house.

 

Helpful links

 

Located in Anoka, Minnesota, and Chesterton, Indiana, we service homeowners and businesses in the St. Paul and Minneapolis area, greater Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and the Chicago area.