Lead and Chromium in paint testing

For many years lead and chromium based paints were used because of their strong colours, resistance to corrosion and speed of drying. Despite their useful properties these paints are in fact harmful, with lead being a particularly hazardous component of these paints. Unfortunately the uptake of lead into the body is very easy with a common pathway being as simple as dust via hand-to-mouth, making children common victims of lead poisoning. The effects of exposure to lead are devastating to young children, particularly those under the age of 6, with symptoms such as hearing loss, stunted growth, delayed development and nervous system damage.

Lead and chromium based paints were commonly used in buildings and homes built before 1978, when their use was outlawed. Lead and chromium based paints can be a whole range of colours such yellow, bright red, green colour or even a white. These sort of paints were used as both primers and top coats.

Paint samples that we receive are digested in Aqua Regia using microwave digestion and subsequently analysed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrophotometry (ICP-OES) using our UKAS accredited procedure (please note, Envirochem is only accredited for the analysis of Lead and Chromium in paint and not the sampling of lead and chromium in paint).


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