The CPSC has announced the results of a special investigation into the effectiveness of home lead testing kits. The verdict? Don’t waste your time.
CPSC staff used commonly available test kits on a variety of paints and other products containing different levels of lead. Many of the tests performed using the kits did not detect lead when it was there (false negatives); some indicated lead was present when it was not (false positives). Of 104 total test results, more than half (56) were false negatives, and two were false positives. None of the kits consistently detected lead in products if the lead was covered with a non-leaded coating. Based on the study consumers should not use lead test kits to evaluate consumer products for potential lead hazards.
This verdict comes as no surprise, but it’s nice to hear it from yet another source. Sorry, folks. Home lead testing kits are a bunch of crap.