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QUESTION: Is it possible to purchase one of your lead test kits for use here in the USA? 20/08/10  Georgia, USA - United States of America

I am so impressed with the wealth of information and helpful resources that your organization provides. I would like to subscribe to any newsletter that you may have available. Also, I would like to know if it is possible to purchase one of your lead test kits for use here in the USA. Or, do you have a resource here in the States? Please advise. And thank you, thank you for your efforts.

ANSWER: Aug 12 2011

Dear Alyson,

apologies that your lovely email was overlooked in our inbox until now. I have just emailed you the latest send-out to our LEAD Action News subscribers, with links in it from which you can access the four editions of our newsletter that we've web-published since you wrote. You are now on the list to receive the next notice, expected in late September 2011.

We have heard from our network contacts that the USA is the best country on the planet for ready availability of lead testing (for both lead in blood - just ask your doctor - and lead in environmental media such as can be tested with our DIY-sampling kits). What I've heard is that anyone who is lead-exposed at work will be monitored by the ABLES (Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance) contact person for their state if their OH&S officer at their place of employment does not sort out where their lead is coming from and change the way things are done in order to bring down the blood lead. Similarly, county or state health departments can assist in locating residential sources of lead, and advise on their elimination, in order to bring down the blood lead level of a non-occupationally exposed adult or child.

I've visited a couple of county or city Lead Poisoning Prevention offices in the US and the number of staff and XRF machines they have is mind-blowing. XRF machines can be used to get lead readings on a variety of environmental media and the advantage over lab testing is that the results are instantaneous. LeadCheck test kits (which change colour when lead is present in paint at a concentration greater than 0.5%) are widely available, even in supermarkets I'm told.

We do not foresee any need to set up a DIY-sampling lead test kit in the US but I'd be keen to hear from you if you find that your local health department can't help you - because the people I hear from are almost all lead poisoning prevention professionals. It is my belief that more lab-testing for lead occurs in the US than in any other country so the thought of people wasting time and money on posting samples back to an Australian lab is not savoury. It's more of a last resort.

Apologies again for the late reply.

All the best with making your home lead-safe.

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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