In an announcement by the EPA on Thursday last week, Hybrivet Systems, makers of LeadCheck® Swabs, received confirmation that their test kits will continue to be recognized for use on RRP related work. The announcement serves to put closure on any rumors or fears that their test kit might not be approved after September of this year. As of this post, LeadCheck is still the only EPA approved test kit that can be used by a certified renovator to test for the presence of lead on RRP projects.
As discussed in the preamble of the final RRP Rule, EPA desires to have a test kit that will identify whether the amount of lead present on a surface is above or below the federally regulated level of lead in paint. The presence of lead in amounts less than 1.0 mg/cm2 or 0.5 percent by weight is considered below the action level requiring the use of the RRP work practices. Lead in amounts equal to or higher than the action level would trigger the RRP requirements.
Currently, existing tests only identify whether lead is present or not. In September 2009, EPA accepted applications from four vendors for the evaluation of their lead test kits through EPA's ETV program. The goal was to identify test kits that would not only verify that lead was not present at all, but also would identify the presence of lead or not based on the action level amount. According to the announcement on the EPA web site; “Because no new kits meet both the false negative and false positive criteria, EPA will continue to recognize the LeadCheck® test kit and the State of Massachusetts lead test kit.” (The Massachusetts test kit is not commercially available) One other manufacturer’s test kit will likely be approved after EPA reviews the final report on their kit. EPA anticipates that this test kit will also be recognized as meeting the false negative criterion.
Hybrivet Systems, Inc was founded by Marcia Stone, PhD, in 1987. Marcia Stone created LeadCheck® Swabs 23 years ago after learning of children suffering from lead poisoning from exposure in their own homes. She combined years of scientific knowledge and experience to create an instant read lead detection tool to help protect families.
I visited with the Hybrivet Systems team on July 22ndat their place of business in Natick MA to learn more about the company and their LeadCheck® Swabs. I was very impressed with the company and its product. I was even more impressed by the personal desire and mission Marcia Stone has to help protect the health and well being of families and especially children. According to Marcia; “Our goal for 20 years has been to dramatically reduce lead-poisoning, especially in children where the effects are most severe and permanent. Our continued recognition as the only test kit in the EPA RRP program has given us greater reach to accomplish our goal, and we’re excited to be able to provide contractors with a low cost, easy to use, and accurate test kit to help with compliance to this rule. We are also excited about our position to help the states that are administering their own lead program, including our home state of Massachusetts.”