Wisconsin DHS Has Approved LeadCheck Test Kits for RRP Use
According to a letter sent to 3M on Wednesday June 27, 2012 by the Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health, the state of Wisconsin has just approved the use of 3M’s LeadCheck test kit for use under the state’s Lead Safe Renovation Rule. Wisconsin is one of the states that has taken over enforcement and administration of the RRP rule from EPA. They did so on April 22, 2010.
How and why it was approved
After review of regulatory requirements and test kit performance measures the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has concluded that the 3M LeadCheck test kit can reliably determine that lead-based paint is not present on wood, ferrous metal (alloys that contain iron), drywall and plaster substrates.
According to the letter: “Therefore, immediately, the Department recognizes the 3M LeadCheck paint test kit for use in Wisconsin limited to the negative response criteria under s.DHS 163.16 (2) (a) when performed by certified lead-safe renovators following the manufacturer’s instructions.”
According to the letter the Department has determined that using the negative response criterion alone is as protective of human health and the environment because a false positive would require a renovator to follow the lead-safe renovations when they would not have been necessary and therefore would be overly protective rather than less protective of human health and the environment.
Still hoping for a reliable and affordable quantitative test kit
Still hoping for a test kit that meets both the negative and positive response criteria, the letter clarifies that this recognition will remain in place until such time a kit that does both becomes available. The current test kits are only accurate enough to determine whether lead is present or not (qualitative test), not indicate how much lead is present (qualitative).
EPA had assumed a reliable quantitative test kit would be available by September of 2012 when it wrote their RRP Rule, but no kits with that ability have been recognized by EPA or any other state program. According to EPA’s own research, the lack of a quantitative test kit has doubled the number of projects requiring lead-safe work practices, projects that otherwise would not have required those practices if a quantitative test kit were available. Read this RRPedia article for more clarification on this subject.
The Department plans to place Information about the new recognition on the lead program website and will provide information about the recognition to all Wisconsin training providers offering accredited lead-safe renovation courses. As of posting this blog the department’s website did not have information about the test kit recognition.
Information about the test kit recognition and approved method of use has been posted to the department's web site.
Guidelines for Wisconsin Renovators
For the benefit of those working on target housing and child occupied facilities in Wisconsin, the DHS offers the following guidance documents for those who must comply with the state’s Lead-Safe Renovation Rule.