Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. The federal government banned lead based paint from residential buildings in 1978. Adding lead to paint enhanced durability, drying times and other qualities. Unfortunately a side effect is that lead is harmful to humans when ingested.
Testing for lead-based paint can be accomplished by taking samples and having them lab tested; Surface dust tests; X-ray fluorescence. Home test kits are available but not EPA approved because of accuracy concerns.
A paint inspection tells you the lead content of every "painted" surface in the home. It will not tell you whether the paint is a hazard or how you should deal with it.
A risk assessment tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure. It also tells you what actions to take to address these hazards.
South Eastern Michigan House Inspectors Inc. uses the X-ray fluorescence method of detecting lead-based paint for the inspection. A risk assessment will use the inspection report and surface dust testing. All testing is done by certified inspectors to EPA standards. Pricing is based on several factors including size of the dwelling, age, type of windows, number of painted surfaces etc. The risk assessment is performed separately. Lead-based paint and risk assessment carry fees in addition to the basic home inspection and can be performed separately. Call for more information/pricing.