Lead Paint Testing Drywall and Plaster Isn’t Difficult But It May Not Be Intuitive

Originally Posted by on May 10, 2012

Years ago I attended a meeting at the offices of Hybrivet where employees swore that LeadCheck™ could easily detect lead in Drywall and Plaster. I thought the information was a bit dubious at the time as I found it hard to believe that the EPA would leave such an import fact out of their certification.

I guess Hybrivet’s old employees were telling the truth (as I am sure you have heard) as LeadCheck™ has been recognized by the EPA for use on drywall and plaster. While not difficult, the method to test Drywall and Plaster is not as straight forward or intuitive as you might think. It involves allowing the reagent/liquid to flow down the wall allowing it to come into contact with the edges of a precut semicircle.

Instructions From 3M™

Sulfates present in drywall (gypsum) and plaster dust can interfere with 3M™ LeadCheck™ Swabs color development. It is possible with a minimum amount of care to accurately test for lead paint on plaster surfaces with 3M™ LeadCheck™ Swabs. 
1. With a clean utility knife, make a nickel sized half circle cut at a low angle (about 5 degrees) cutting down to the bare drywall gypsum) and plaster core to expose all layers of paint.
2. Fold down the semicircular flap with the knife blade so that it forms a pocket. 3. Using an activated 3M™ LeadCheck™ Swab, hold the swab above the cut allowing the 3M™ LeadCheck™ reagent to flow into the pocket making sure that the liquid contacts all layers of paint both in the cut itself and the peeled back flap. Carefully rub the swab around the periphery of the peeled back flap, taking care not to contact the drywall (gypsum) or plaster. Only rub the swab on all layers of paint found on the flap. Do not rub the swab in the pocket.
4. If lead is present, a pink or red color will develop along the edges of the cut, flap, or swab tip usually within 30 seconds.

See our entire selection of lead paint test kits.

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