Many renovation, repair and painting activities disturb painted surfaces and can create lead dust exposure hazards. When undertaking this type of work in a home or child-occupied facility built before 1978, the renovator must either assume the painted surfaces to be disturbed contain lead-based paint or accurately identify the presence or absence of lead-based paint.
A lead-safe renovator may use a recognized test kit to test for the presence of lead in paint only if requested to do so by the property owner. Paint chip sampling and paint testing using an XRF analyzer may only be performed by certified lead risk assessors or inspectors.
IMPORTANT: Do not store D-Lead or LeadCheck test kits in a car, van, truck or unheated location. Both types of test kits will not work after freezing.
Government Evaluation of Lead Paint Test Kits
See information about the studies used to determine recognition of lead paint test kits.
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Lead Test Kit Requirements
- Only a certified lead-safe renovator may use a recognized lead test kit.
- Paint testing may only be performed at the request of the property owner or person contracting for services.
- The recognized paint test kit is limited to use on paint or other coatings on wood, ferrous metal (alloys that contain iron), drywall or plaster substrates.
Note: The Wisconsin statutory standard under ss. 254.11 (8) for lead-based paint is a lead content in paint or other coating that is more than 1.0 milligrams per square centimeter (mg/cm2) or more than 0.5% lead by weight in the dried film of applied paint.
- The certified lead-safe renovator must follow the manufacturer's instructions for using the recognized paint test kit.
NOTE: Before using the 3M™ LeadCheck™ paint test kit on PLASTER AND DRYWALL, download updated instructions for using the test kit on plaster and drywall (PDF). The updated procedure for testing plaster and drywall is slightly different from the procedure used previously. 3M™ LeadCheck™ test kits shipped to retail outlets after April 1, 2012, contain the updated instructions. Kits purchased prior to April 1, 2012, or that contain the older instructions can still be used, but the user must follow the updated instructions when testing plaster and drywall. See the instructions.
- Each distinct component and surface to be disturbed must be tested separately with unused testing materials.
Examples: A single window system may require the use of 10 or more swabs to test all components of the window, including interior sill, apron, window well, exterior sill, interior sash and muntins, exterior sash and muntins, interior window casing, window jamb, interior stop, exterior stop, and exterior framing. In a room, each wall is considered a separate surface. A wall split by a chair rail requires one lead check swab for the area below the chair rail and a separate swab to test above the chair rail. Chair rails, baseboards and crown moldings on each wall need to be tested separately.
- Test only the components that will be disturbed during the renovation project.
- Maintain a record of the manufacturer and model of each test kit used, verification that the test kit is recognized by the department, a description of each component tested, including the specific location, and the result for each location and test kit used.
- Provide the written lead test kit report to the person contracting for the work within 10 days of completing the renovation activities. A Test Kit Documentation Form is available for download to assist you in complying with this requirement: Test Kit Documentation Form (PDF).
Recognized Lead Test Kits
These Test Kits are recognized in Wisconsin:
Recognized as of July 15, 2013
Under Wis. Admin, Code § DHS 163.02 (2), Approved Alternative to an Administrative Requirement, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recognizes that the ESCA Tech D-Lead paint test kit complies with the negative response criteria of the lead-safe renovation rule. The Department of Health Services has determined that recognition under the negative response criteria alone is as protective of human health and the environment as the original requirement at s. DHS 163.16 to meet both the negative and positive response criteria.
Certified renovators may purchase ESCA Tech D-Lead or Klean-Strip D-Lead test kits from many hardware and home improvement stores, or from other ESCA Tech, Inc., distributors. For more information, visit the ESCA Tech website or call 877-532-5323.
Recognized as of June 27, 2012
Under Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 163.02 (2), Approved Alternative to an Administrative Requirement, the department recognizes that using the 3M™ Lead Check™ test kit, P-00411 (PDF); complies with the negative response criteria of the lead-safe renovation rule. The department has determined that recognition under the negative response criteria alone is as protective of human health and the environment as the original requirement at Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 163.16 to meet both the negative and positive response criteria.
Certified renovators may purchase 3M™ LeadCheck™ test kits from many hardware or home improvement stores or other 3M™ LeadCheck™ distributors. For more information, visit the 3M™ LeadCheck™ website or call 800-494-3552.
Lead Test Kit Regulations
Wisconsin Admin. Code, ch. DHS 163, describes the criteria lead test kits must meet to be recognized and the conditions for their use in detecting regulated levels of lead in paint prior to starting a renovation activity.
Wisconsin Admin Code § DHS 163.14 (11) (p) Use of paint test kits. When requested by the party contracting for renovation services, the certified renovator may use only a department-recognized paint test kit to determine whether components and surfaces to be affected by the renovation activities contain lead-based paint. The certified renovator shall test each distinct component and surface to be affected, follow the manufacturer's instructions for use of the paint test kit, and document and maintain the records required under Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 163.13 (3) (c) 10.
Wisconsin Admin. Code § DHS 163.13 (3) (c) 10. If a recognized test kit is used, the company shall maintain records of, and, within 10 working days of completing renovation activities, provide identifying information to, the person who contracted for the work as to the manufacturer and model of each test kit used, verification that the test kit is recognized by the department, a description of the components tested, including their specific locations, and the result for each location and test kit used.
Wisconsin Admin. Code § DHS 163.16 Recognized paint test kits for renovation.
Wisconsin Admin. Code § DHS 163.02 (2). Approved Alternative to an Administrative Requirement.
The department may approve an alternative to any administrative requirement in this chapter that is not a statutory requirement when the department is provided with satisfactory written proof that the alternative is as protective of human health and the environment as the original requirement. A request for approval of an alternative shall be in writing, shall be sent to the department and shall include justification for the alternative. The department shall approve or deny the alternative or request additional information within 20 working days of receipt of the request for approval. If granted, the department shall send the applicant a written notice of approval that may include limits on the approval.