Environmental Inspection Service offers Mold Testing, Asbestos Testing, Radon Testing, Indoor Air Quality Testing, and Lead Paint Testing in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Palos Verdes and surrounding cities along with Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Freemont, Hayward, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Sunnyvale, and other Bay Area cities. Call us at (310) 396-6532 (Los Angeles office) or (510) 868-1184 (San Francisco/Bay Area office).

Lead Paint Inspection

Lead is a heavy metal that causes neurological damage and can lead to mental and physical handicaps in children and adults. Up until 1978, lead pigment was manufactured for use in most household and industrial paints in the United States. Over the years, the degradation of lead paint has caused thousands of cases a year of lead poisoning in California alone. Lead paint chips and dust that fall off furniture, walls, and other building items contaminate living and working spaces.


When lead paint in good condition, it does not inherently pose a lead poisoning hazard. However, if the lead paint is disturbed by remodeling, demolition, or just normal wear over a long period of time, a lead dust exposure hazard is created.

Our California Department of Public Health certified lead paint inspectors and lead paint sampling technicians will inspect your property for lead painted components, lead contaminated dust and soil, and provide you with a report and consultation outlining actions that can be taken to resolve any lead paint issues.


Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you inspect for lead paint? What do you look for?

XRF (for residential lead paint inspections):

For residential jobs we use a portable X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) device that instantly and non-invasively tests for lead paint (for more description on how the device works, click here). This means that in the process of testing for lead paint, we do not need to chip away or damage your paint in any way.

We will go through your house, apartment, or condo and systematically use our XRF device on either every painted surface (full lead survey) or a specific area of the house (partial survey) that is of concern or is expected to be renovated or demolished.

In addition to using the XRF device for lead paint inspections, we can do wipe sample testing. The more deteriorated the lead paint is, the greater the risk of it chipping off and adding to the dust in your house. For this reason, we also do wipe sampling in which we take a 1 square foot wipe (with an alcohol wipe) of floors and window sills near affected areas. These wipe samples can either be analyzed on site (in your home) with our XRF analyzer/device or they can be sent to an EPA certified lab.


Once any construction/remodeling/abatement involving lead paint has been conducted, we can come out to your site and conduct clearance inspections to ensure that there is no longer a lead hazard.


What about testing my business/commercial building?

In the case of workplace related (OSHA) inspections, the use of XRF devices are unfortunately not permitted. This means that the only way we are allowed to conduct commercial lead surveys involves taking paint chip samples. For this, we use a chisel and knock off small (about a square inch) sections of paint and send these paint chips off to the lab for further testing.


If lead paint is discovered, how do I remove it or how is it dealt with?

For safe removal and maintenance methods, consult the EPA “Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right”.

Here is the link:



How long does it take to do a lead paint survey?


A residential lead paint survey can take anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours depending on the size, age and style of the home. Older homes generally take longer because our XRF lead paint inspection instrument takes longer to analyze multiple layers of paint. Homes with more trim and decorative surfaces also take longer because there are many more components to analyze for lead paint content.


How long does it take to get lab results?


Lab results (in the case of paint chip sampling for commercial testing) take between 3 to 5 business days. Express results are available at an additional charge.


How long does it take to get a report?


Reports take between 2 to 3 business days. Express report writing is available at an additional charge.


Can a handyman remove lead paint?


In order to remove lead paint, it is essential to be trained in lead safe work practices. If your handyman has the appropriate training and skill set then the answer is yes.

For certification information, visit:



My neighbors don’t do it, why do I have to?

Not only is it the law (list regulations), but it is also the responsible and safe path to follow when undergoing any construction/remodeling/demolition. Lead is a very hazardous material and it has the potential to cause harm to you and anyone else who is around to be exposed. Often people either are unaware of or underestimate the risks associated with lead paint exposure, which is why you will often see them neglecting to take any special precautions.

I have young kids (or I am going to), what can I do to protect them from lead paint and lead poisoning?

Lead is an especially potent toxin for young children. Although the EPA and FDA has established standards for levels of lead in the blood that are considered lead poisoning, there is no safe level of lead to have in your system. This is why we recommend minimizing lead exposure hazards around the house.

What is the definition of lead paint?

Bay Area (Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Freemont, Hayward, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Sunnyvale, etc.):

Paint with a lead concentration of 1.0 mg/cm^2 (milligrams per square centimeter) is considered to be lead paint.

Los Angeles County (including Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Burbank, Long Beach, Glendale, Torrance, Palos Verdes, Santa Clarita, Lancaster, Pomona, Culver City, etc.):

Paint with a lead concentration of 0.7 mg/cm^2 (milligrams per square centimeter) is considered to be lead paint.


*note: even if paint falls below these thresholds, to be conservative we recommend following lead safe work practices in borderline cases.


Do you test for lead in my soil?

Yes we do. We can test on site for lead levels in your soil in addition to sending in samples to the lab for verification.

There are three ways that lead can end up contaminating your soil:

Your soil has naturally high levels of lead. In certain regions, it is natural for soil lead concentrations to be high.

2)      You have lead in your exterior paint on your house/building that is chipping off and contaminating your soil.

3)      You live nearby a busy (or formerly busy) street/highway/freeway. Tetraethyl lead was a common additive in gasoline up until 1985. Even all these years later, there is significant evidence that contamination from leaded gasoline is still widespread. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1533263/




If there is lead in my soil, can I grow vegetables and fruits?

Consuming fruits and vegetables grown in lead containing soil puts you at risk. Even if you are careful to wash the fruit/vegetable off before eating it, in the process of growing the plant may have absorbed the lead in the soil. Here is a New York Times article offering more information on the subject of lead paint contaminated soil and gardening:



How many samples must be taken?


For XRF residential inspections, the number of samples depends on the type of service being requested. For partial lead paint surveys, we will sample all painted surfaces that will be damaged, removed, or disturbed due to remodeling, demolition or construction. This is because we want to ensure that all appropriate precautions are taken in the case that lead paint dust may be released from work done on your home or business. We take one XRF sample (reading) from each painted surface (each wall, each window sill, each baseboard, etc.). Our XRF instruments are non-destructive and therefore do not generate a lead paint dust hazard or damage your home. This also means that you can stay in the building while the inspection takes place.


In commercial buildings, since XRF equipment is not allowed, we need to take paint chip samples. The procedure is similar in that we still take one sample (paint chip sample in this case) from each separate surface that will be affected by construction work.


With a full lead paint survey, we inspect each and every painted surface in the house/building. The amount of time that it takes to perform a complete lead paint inspection on a home depends on a few factors: its size, age, and the number of painted surfaces in the home. Since an older home (pre-1979) is more likely to have more painted surfaces and more layers of paint (meaning longer reading times on our XRF device), we expect them to take at least 50% longer than a new home.


A 2000 square foot house built in 1978 or later typically takes between 2 and 3 hours to perform a complete lead paint survey (150 to 250 samples are taken). A similar house built before 1978 typically takes between 3 and 4.5 hours to inspect for lead paint (250 to 550 samples are taken).


How long does it take for results?


With residential inspections, we can use our XRF device that delivers instantaneous results for lead concentrations in your paint. It does however take 24 to 48 hours to write you a report that completely summarizes the results of testing. In the case of partial lead surveys where not many samples are taken, we can simply tell you the results on site and give you the report later. However, in the case of complete lead paint surveys, where the number of samples taken is high, it is necessary to wait for the report before we can steer you in the right direction.



How much do you charge?


The cost is a function of many factors. Rather than display inprecise cost estimates, we would prefer to talk with you on the phone or email and gather more information about the work that you need to have us do so that we can give you our most accurate pricing.

Environmental Inspection Services provides Mold Testing, Asbestos Testing, Radon Testing, Indoor Air Quality Test, Lead Paint Testing in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Palos Verdes and surrounding cities. We offer both residential and commercial environmental inspections by highly trained inspectors who provide value and a cost effective service. Please call 310-396-6532 for a quote.