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How to read your "Lead Test Report"

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

The hazard levels of lead in paint, soil, and dust are shown below, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). It's important to note that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) may have different definitions for hazard levels.

Lead in Paint Hazard Levels:

  • ​Lab test results of 5,000 ppm (parts per million) or more, or 0.5% or more (by weight)

  • XRF test results of 1.0 milligrams of lead per square centimeter (1.0 mg/cm2 ) or more

Lead in Bare Soil Hazard Levels​:

  • ​Lab test results of 400 ppm or more in bare soil in areas where children play

  • Lab test results of 1,000 ppm or more in all other areas

​Lead in Dust Hazard Levels:

  • ​Dust from interior floors with 40 micrograms of lead per square foot (40 mcg/ft2) or more

  • Dust from interior horizontal surfaces with 250 micrograms of lead per square foot (250 mcg/ft2) or more

  • Dust from exterior floors and exterior horizontal window surfaces with 400 micrograms of lead per square foot (400 mcg/ft2) or more

Important: Regardless of your test results, the condition of your house's paint and soil is crucial. If the soil is covered by grass, bushes, or permanent ground coverings, even high levels of lead in the soil may not be harmful to children. If you have no plans to remodel and the paint is in good condition without chipping or peeling, it may not pose a lead hazard, even if it contains high levels of lead. However, if the paint is peeling or chipping, especially on doors and windows where normal wear and tear occurs, or if you intend to remodel the area, you should take precautions to prevent lead poisoning in your children.

Warning: Please be aware that lead test results are only reliable if proper testing procedures are followed. The results will not provide information about the lead content of surfaces or soil that were not tested. To ensure accurate testing results, we recommend you hire a State-certified Inspector/Assessor.

Source: California Department of Public Health

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