Paint & Varnish Lead Testing
Lead is often found in old paint, varnish, and household dust and dirt, in homes or apartments built before 1978. Lead poisoning is a concern for children between 6 months and 6 years of age as they can be poisoned by lead when they eat or inhale dust, paint chips, or other materials containing lead.
When to Test for Lead
If your home or apartment was built before 1978, you should test for lead if you have paint that is peeling or chipping or impact areas like windows, floors and doors that may have paint dust. You should also test for lead on surfaces containing old paint or varnish before painting or remodeling.
Samples may be collected from any surface including furniture.
- Collect one or more paint or varnish chips so the total is equal to the size of a quarter. Include all layers of paint or varnish without any of the wood, plaster etc.
- Place each quarter-sized sample in a clean plastic bag and seal it. Do not mix chips from different surfaces or locations. Each should be treated as a different sample.
- Label each bag with the following information: Your name, address and phone number and description of the sample using surface type and location (examples: garage - exterior siding, bedroom - interior window sill)
- Complete a Chain-of-Custody form for Lead in Paint
- Mail or deliver samples, Chain-of-Custody form, and payment to the Public Health Laboratory at the address below.
Results are generally available two weeks after the sample is received by our lab. For rush orders (results in 5 working days) – call about availability and fee. Rush testing is not available on samples submitted by mail.
- Cost is $20.00 per sample.
- Payment: cash, or check made out to City Treasurer.
Mail or deliver sample and payment to: (We cannot be responsible for cash payment sent through the mail.)Public Health Madison & Dane County Laboratory
210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 507
Madison, WI 53703 Deliver in person Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm