LeadCheck Kits - Questions and Answers
How do I milk LeadCheck kits to get more than one test per vial?
If you intend using the LeadCheck kits it is possible to get more than one test out of each vial.
Milking LeadCheck kit: - the tester looks rather like a cigarette, a cardboard cylinder with a compressed paper plug at one end. Within the cylinder are 2 fine glass tubes containing chemicals. The instructions with the kit are to squeeze the cylinder gently to break the glass, and shake to mix the chemicals. They will then soak down through the "filter tip", then wipe the tester over the painted surface and if lead is present, a pink or red colouration will occur. However, this means that no other surface can be tested, although there is adequate chemical in the tester for more tests.
Instead, we suggest that you get a supply of Cotton Buds (about 6 per tester) and gently "milk" the cylinder to soak the tip of a bud with chemical, then use it as a tester. The "filter tip" can be used last. It is important to have the desired paint surfaces to be tested ready before you start as the chemical deteriorates within two (2) minutes of the two components being mixed.
Make sure you do the fail-safe check supplied with the kit.
What are some of the pitfalls of incorrect sampling?
A Cautionary Case study
A man had his parents use LeadCheck to test paint on the home he was about to renovate and later move into. The parents got a negative result. The man went ahead heat gunning and sanding for four days with the children occasionally coming over and playing in the dust. The man started feeling sick, his four and a half year old anaemic daughter threw-up and it occurred to the man that perhaps he should test the paint himself. The LeadCheck went bright pink. The difference- the parents tested the top layers only, the man tested the bottom layer which dated from 1955
Where can I purchase LeadCheck kits?
Two-packs are available from some major hardware stores (phone to check if your local store stocks them) and from Pascol, Dulux or Wattyl trade centres (see Stockists of Lead Spot Test Kits - Australia in postcode order and Lead Spot Test Kit Suppliers - Wholesale).
Are LeadChecks more reliable than other spot test kits?
LeadCheck kits are the only commercially available spot test kits in Australia. The company which manufactures LeadCheck kits claims that when the US EPA tested the range of spot test kits available in the US, they found that LeadCheck kits did not actually have any false negative results. However, the US EPA wrote their policy based on the results of testing the full range of spot kits. (see the attached 'Federal Lead testing technologies studies confirm existing policy') So the conclusion that spot tests have an unacceptable number of false positives and false negatives, may not relate to LeadCheck kits. The Lead Advisory Service is currently seeking written confirmation from the manufacturer for the claim that LeadChecks do not give false negative results.
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Updated 17 March 2014