Berkeley’s Alameda County – Lead Paint Inspection



The danger posed by lead paint is due to the dust and chips created when it is disturbed or as it degrades over time. Lead was a ubiquitous paint additive through 1978, creating a lead paint exposure risk in buildings constructed or painted before that year. Because about 3 in every 4 homes in Berkeley’s Alameda County were built prior to 1978, lead paint exposure and lead poisoning are significant risks.
Environmental Inspection Services will send our lead inspectors, certified by the CA Department of Public Health, to assess your home or building and provide a report detailing our findings of lead paint or soil and dust that has been contaminated with lead paint dust.

Environmental Inspection Services offers both wipe sampling under and around windowsills, as well as comprehensive lead paint surveys of either every surface in the structure or all surfaces in a specific section with an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device. Neither method requires us to chip, scrape, or otherwise damage your paint. 

In addition to testing for lead paint in your Berkeley or Alameda County building with the XRF, Environmental Inspection Services will also conduct paint chip sampling in the case of OSHA surveys. This involves removing a postage stamp sized bit of paint to be lab tested.
The EPA provides guidelines for lead remediation and lead-safe practices, available here: THE LEAD-SAFE CERTIFIED GUIDE TO RENOVATE RIGHT
In general, the earlier the date of construction, the longer the lead paint survey. More embellishments, such as trim, also create the need for additional lead paint testing of each of their surfaces. That said, most lead paint inspections will last between 90 minutes and 4 hours.
It is important to follow lead-safe work practices when dealing with lead paint. If your handyman has an EPA certification, they will be able to handle lead paint safely. The EPA has more information on certification here: EPA Lead-Safe Certification
The law in Berkeley’s Alameda County requires that lead paint be considered when performing work on buildings. Although many people skip this step, the health risks of lead paint exposure are too serious to ignore. Contact us to schedule your Berkeley or Alameda County lead paint test.
In Berkeley’s Alameda County alone, over 2% of children under six, representing over two thousand children, have blood levels consistent with lead poisoning. Many more have elevated blood levels of lead. Particular risks include homes built before 1978 and homes near busy streets and highways, where lead leftover from its use in gasoline may still remain in the ground. Eliminating old paint, especially on windows and doors, as well as testing for lead paint can all help reduce the risk, as can taking out lead-containing soil.

Environmental Inspection Services advises you to use lead-safe practices if lead is found, regardless of the specific levels.

In Berkeley’s Alameda County, state regulations classify paint that the XRF finds to have one milligram per square centimeter or more lead to be lead paint. Our lab lead paint tests consider paint that is .5% or greater lead by weight to be lead paint.

Lead can appear in soil naturally, as a result of being near roadways where leaded gasoline was used in the past, and as a consequence of contamination from lead-painted structures built atop it. More information about the lasting consequences of leaded gasoline can be found here: NCBI – Soil is an important pathway of human lead exposure.
Yes. Cleaning your produce is not sufficient to eliminate lead deposited by growth in contaminated soil. To learn more, see this article: New York Times: For Urban Gardeners, Lead Is a Concern
Results from our lab will be available in two to three business days, though they can be expedited on special request. XRF analysis is ready immediately.
Our rates are dependent on your home or building and vary. Reach out to us for an approximate survey cost for your Berkeley or Alameda County lead paint inspection.