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Lead Based Paint Chip Sampling

Sampling for Lead in Paint


  • To capture and quantify lead levels from paint chips present on different substrates.
  • To assess whether the levels present suggest a lead problem prior to renovations or abatement.


  • Paint chip sampling is used to determine the amount of lead that is manufactured into the paint.
  • Samples can be analyzed within 4 hours once dropped off at the lab.


  • Paint chip sampling is a weight dependent analysis. It is best to remove as much substrate while gathering as much paint chips as possible to ensure quality analysis. When the substrate of an area being sampled is present in a paint chip sample, it adds unnecessary weight which will result in lead results being lower than what it may be.
  • Low paint chip sample weights also have an affect on results. At least 1 square inch of paint, 1 table spoon of paint if powdery, or 0.25g of paint is recommended and will ensure quality results.


  • Razor Blade
  • Napkin (To wipe tools)
  • Water or Alcohol (To clean tools)
  • Ziploc baggie or transporter tube
  • Gloves

Sampling Protocols

  • Typical sampling locations include problem areas, areas that will be renovated and or abated.
  • Determine where the sample would be taken.
  • With a razor blade score a 1 square inch (or larger) area.
  • Use the razor blade and slide the blade under the scored area to lift the paint.
  • Peel the paint off of the substrate.
  • Place the paint into a Ziploc bag and close.
  • When sampling is complete, clean your razor and other tools that were used in the collection to prevent cross contamination.
  • Not all substrates where the paint lay are the same. Different tools such as chisels, putty knives and hammers may be needed in the collection.


  • No special shipping requirements are necessary. Each individual sample should be placed in its own holding container/bag.