Lead / Asbestos Testing

If you are considering buying an older home, it should be noted that the house could potentially contain lead or asbestos in some of the building materials commonly used during the construction of the home. The only way to verify if there are hazardous materials in the home is through lab testing of samples taken on-site. 


Lead was a common material used in paint until it was banned for residential use in 1978. Homes built in the United States before 1978 are likely to have some lead-based paint in the home. It can be exposed on a wall, window trim, ceiling, or hidden behind layers of non-lead-based paint. When the paint is cracked or peeling, it creates lead paint chips and dust. Any surface that is covered with lead-based paint where the surface may wear by rubbing or friction is likely to cause lead dust. This includes windows, doors, floors, porches, stairways, cabinets, and walls. Children (and pets) can be exposed to lead if they touch or chew on surfaces coated with lead-based paint or paint chips that may fall on the floor.

Health Risks with Lead

The US department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) states, “When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves, and blood. Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, and in extreme cases, death.”

Lead testing is a performed by identifying potential lead materials, safely taking a sample from the suspect areas and sending the sample to a lab for analysis. Once the samples have been analyzed, a report will be issued with the results.


Until 1990, asbestos was considered a very useful material and was used by manufacturers around the world because of its affordable flame-retardant properties. You could find asbestos in brake pads, firefighter suits, hot pads in food production, and many building materials such as duct insulation, attic insulation, roof tiles, floor tiles, textured coatings, and more.
In 1989, the EPA issued its first ban on most asbestos containing products after several studies provided information on the long term health effects that asbestos has on humans and pets. If you inhale asbestos fibers, you may increase the risk of several serious diseases, including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Asbestos containing products are not completely banned and some products are still in manufacturing materials. The EPA phase out of all asbestos materials is still ongoing.


Asbestos Hazards

In the United States, the most common forms of remaining hazardous asbestos materials will be found in the floor tiles, ceiling/wall textures, HVAC ducting, and cement asbestos board siding. If you have any of these materials in your home, DILIGENT strongly recommends an asbestos test. It is generally said if asbestos is left undisturbed the probability of inhaling the asbestos fibers is very low. However, due to remodeling, home repairs, and general construction, asbestos can be disturbed and allow fibers to enter the breathable air in the home. The safest way to remediate asbestos is through removal by a qualified asbestos remediation company by use of special tools and air scrubbing fans and filters.
Asbestos testing is performed the same as lead testing. Samples are identified on-site, safely removed, and then sent to a lab for analysis.

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