When I first became a lead paint inspector, I read an article about a home improvement chain being sued over lead, they must not have used a lead inspector before the work began. The house was pre 1978, therefore presumed the presence of lead paint, consequently must sub contract out the project to a crew with an abatement supervisor and workers certified to work with lead paint. Low and behold, dust from the renovation work ends up in the baby’s crib, and it turns out, no one on the crew had any of the prerequisite!

So, a on a job today doing a Risk Assessment in Bethesda, I met a neighbor, curious about what I am doing, tells me she is having her windows replaced and the company did a lead test (scratch some, home kit, get a reading). Turns out according to the window company, she had lead, and they are charging her $50. more per window. I asked her what the lead levels were from the sales rep’s home test kit. She did not know. I asked her what measurement they used. She did not know. As a certified lead paint inspector, I offered to test her windows to see what the status actually was. I held the XRF gun to every interior painted component on each of the five windows and guess what? By MDE standards it was lead free (less than .7 mg/cm2).

Go figure!? I am writing up an “inspection report” for her, to return to the company and renegotiate the price. I think she may not even use this window company after all.