Earlier this year we sent our own Thomas Gaige to get certified for the lead-safe removal of lead paint. One of the biggest gripes we had was that the test kits were made by only one manufacturer (currently Hybrivet Systems’ LeadCheck) – and they seemed to be perpetually on back-order. Now, the U.S. EPA has announced its Recognition of the D-Lead Paint Test Kit, the first commercially available EPA Recognized test for lead-based paint on plaster or drywall surfaces. According to the EPA, the new D-Lead Paint Test Kit (which of course is patent pending), developed by ESCA Tech, Inc., can reliably determine when regulated lead-based paint is not present on drywall, plaster, wood and ferrous metal surfaces.
According to the rule, Certified Renovators must test for the presence of lead paint when remodeling homes built before 1978. Surveys by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) indicate 75% of plaster and drywall surfaces in homes built prior to 1978 do not contain lead paint, but proving the absence of lead is now an EPA requirement nationally and there is no longer any way to opt out. On top of that there are huge fines attached, though enforcement of such fines is left mostly up to the states and local municipalities. Professionals and homeowners can now easily and inexpensively test for lead- and lead chromate-based paints with the D-Lead Paint Test Kit. The D-Lead Paint Test Kit was independently tested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Technology Verification Program (ETV), and Recognized by the EPA under the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Program rule (40 CFR § 745). http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/testkit.htm
- The only test for lead in paint that is both ETV Tested and EPA Recognized* for use on drywall, plaster, wood and metal surfaces.
- Quickly determine if a paint sample contains less than the USEPA regulated lead limit.
- Test for lead and lead chromate based paints in minutes.
- Small 3/16″ sample required (sample tool included).
- D-Wipe Prep Towels (included) reduce the chance of contamination of samples.
Using the new test to demonstrate the absence of lead paint could save homeowners time and money. Certainly having another company provide testing kits will save time. Before Recognition of the D-Lead Paint Test Kit, contractors and homeowners needed to either assume that plaster and drywall surfaces were coated with lead paint or utilize the services of a Certified Lead Paint Inspector or Risk Assessor. All layers of paint can now be tested in minutes, without costly equipment or waiting for lab results.
“We’re proud the D-Lead Paint Test Kit is made with 99 percent US-origin components,” said Daniel P. Askin, President and Technical Director of ESCA Tech. “This new product will make our children safer and life easier for home remodelers while providing new jobs in the US.”
Being only one of two companies manufacturing test kits, and the first smart enough to put them into the home improvement warehouses, ESCA Tech is getting an A+ Star in terms of their business model. With testing mandated now, this should be a very lucrative product for them and it will at the same time be helpful to both contractors and homeowners.
The D-lead Paint Test Kit is currently in production. The 24 Test Contractor Packs will be available through ESCA Tech Distributors (available October). 6 Test Retail Packs manufactured for Klean-Strip will be available at The Home Depot (available September/October 2010) and other major retailers in 2011.
About ESCA Tech, Inc.
Since 1979, ESCA Tech, Inc., a Milwaukee, WI-based company with distributors worldwide, has provided innovative products to reduce the risk of exposure to lead and other heavy metals. For more information, visit www.ESCA-Tech.com.