The Difference Between Lead-Free and Lead-Safe Certification

The new lead testing law in Philadelphia brings rise to a number of questions. This one in particular:

What is the difference between lead-free certification and lead-safe certification?

The city of Philadelphia instituted a law to protect the health of you children who are the most vulnerable to the hazard of lead exposure.

Even the tiniest amounts of lead in the bloodstream can cause brain damage, nerve and organ damage.

This measure taken by the City of Philadelphia requires landlords who rent to families with young children to get a lead-safe certification prior to new tenant occupation.

A unit in lead-free condition will show no presence of lead whatsoever.  A lead-free certification is permanent and that unit need never to be tested again in the future.

A unit in lead-safe condition, mean that testing with a special XRF gun reveals the presence of lead.  However, a dust-wipe evaluation reveals no presence of lead dust.  This means the paint which exists in the unit is in good condition is no immediate threat to health.  In this case, a lead-safe certificate is issued.

A lead-safe certificate must be renewed in 24 months because lead-safe is only considered a temporary condition.  Peeling, chipping or disturbance of painted surfaces could trigger a breakdown of surfaces and initiate harmful lead dust.