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Lead in the News Highlights Importance of EPA NLLAP

02/17/16

The negative effects of lead are very much in the news given the water problems in Flint, MI. But lead can also be a problem in other ways. Although lead is a naturally occurring element found in the earth’s crust and has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals. Lead can affect nearly every organ and system in the body, and young children are the most vulnerable to lead’s ill effects.

EPA and other organizations have proposed legislation to limit the use of lead because lead exposure can negatively affect health. Before the dangers of lead were known, it was commonly used in house paint to increase durability. The use of lead-based paint was banned in the United States in 1978 but millions of homes, businesses, and other structures still have lead-based paint on their walls. 

The EPA National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program, established by the Office of Pollution and Toxics under the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, is based on EPA minimum standards for laboratory analysis of lead in paint films, dust, and soil.

Because lead is present in buildings, homes, and soil, testing is needed so contaminated areas can be cleaned up properly. Many lead-testing laboratories can analyze samples for traces of lead, but it’s important that they meet the high standards set by EPA NLLAP guidelines. ISO 17025 accreditation consistent with NLLAP requirements can ensure contractors receive accurate test results.

As a recognized EPA NLLAP accreditation body, ANAB accredits laboratories for NLAPP for one or all of these types of lead testing operations:

  • Fixed site: the analytical testing of lead at a permanent location with control environmental conditions
  • Mobile site: a transportable, self-contained lead testing unit
  • Field sampling and measurement organization (FSMO): lead testing used with portable testing technologies/equipment