Lead-Based Paint Surveys and Risk Assessments

Lead was used as an additive to household paints to increase paint durability, retain a fresh appearance, speed drying and resist moisture until it was banned in 1978. Lead is a dangerous substance and can be especially damaging to children whose bodies are still developing.

France Environmental, Inc. (FEI) performs non-destructive lead-based paint inspections and risk assessments using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) gamma radiation technology. In addition, FEI can develop lead-based paint abatement designs for the safe removal of lead paint when excessive lead exposure is eminent.

Lead-Based Paint Inspection/Surveys

Prior to renovation or demolition activities, site hazards should be disclosed such as painted surfaces for lead content. Interior/exterior building components that are painted, varnished, or have surface coatings that are suspected to contain lead can be tested by a certified, licensed inspector. FEI can perform these inspections without damaging existing paint in most cases by using an XRF Analyzer to test painted or varnished building components. XRF values are collected by placing the scanner on the test surface and exposing the lead paint film to gamma radiation. Unlike a surface swab test, XRF analyzers are usually capable of penetrating up to twenty-five (25) layers of paint to determine the lead content in the paint film.

At the conclusion of each test, the shutter is closed and the control console displays the lead concentration in the paint. This technology allows us to determine the lead content instantaneously without damaging the existing paint.

Lead-Based Paint Risk Assessments

There are unfortunate times when a child is diagnosed with an elevated blood lead level. In order to determine the source of the lead, France Environmental, Inc. performs a Lead-Based Paint Risk Assessment. This assessment may involve interviews of individuals close to the child, an assessment of paint conditions as well as additional sampling. The additional sampling may include samples of soil, water and dust to help pinpoint the possible source of the lead.

Lead-Based Paint Abatement Design

If a lead hazard is identified and an abatement design is warranted, FEI can develop abatement design plans for the safe removal and/or encapsulation of the lead-based paint. FEI’s Engineering Department includes lead-based paint abatement designers licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The abatement design can be a “stand alone” document, but it is typically part of the overall renovation/demolition plans that would be inserted into the Project Manual.