X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis is a proven technology used to detect and quantify the amount of lead present in old paint.

XRF lead testing is required for older residential buildings in New York City, according to Local Law 31.

EPA-certified lead paint inspectors use handheld XRF analyzer machines to accurately test all substrates (surfaces) within buildings for the presence of lead-based paint.

The  major benefit of XRF inspections is that it is non-invasive (no need to remove and collect samples) and the analyzer can detect lead-based paint even under multiple layers of paint.

Why Do I Need to Test?

Local Law 31, which went into effect in August 2020, is one of the latest amendments to Local Law 1 of 2004.

It requires NYC landlords and owners of pre-1960 buildings to have all dwelling units inspected for lead using approved XRF analyzers.

XRF inspections are also required if you wish to apply for an HPD lead exemption (Lead Free or Lead Safe).

The XRF Lead Testing Process

In order to comply with Local Law 31, XRF lead testing must be performed by an EPA-certified lead inspector or risk assessor.

XRF lead testing involves a surface-by-surface investigation to determine whether lead-based paint is present in a house, dwelling unit, or residential building. The inspector holds the XRF analyzer directly on each painted surface in order to take measurements, which are then classified based on EPA / HUD standards.

Per Local Law 66, if the measurement is greater or equal to 0.5 milligrams per square centimeter (mg/cm2), it is classified as a positive reading for lead-based paint.

Sometimes readings may be considered inconclusive if they fall within a certain range, as specified by the manufacturer’s Performance Characteristic Sheet (PCS) for each model of XRF lead-based paint analyzer. In such a case, or if XRF readings cannot be taken because some surfaces are uneven or damaged, paint chip samples must be collected and analyzed in an accredited laboratory.

After the inspection is completed, you will receive an inspection report documenting all findings. Per HUD guidelines


Certified lead inspection, risk assessment, and abatement services to identify and remediate lead-based hazards.

Telos Environmental Group’s EPA-certified lead risk inspectors and abatement professionals can help you identify and remediate lead paint-based hazards in your home or building.

We are committed to helping NYC eliminate the threat of lead paint from our homes and apartments. We work with landlords, property managers, and tenants to help identify and mitigate the risk of lead exposure and lead poisoning.

If you suspect your home or building may be at risk for lead, or if you recently received a lead violation from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Telos Environmental can help you properly inspect and abate the lead hazard.

If your building was built before January 1, 1960, it may contain lead-based paint hazards. Per NYC’s Local Law 31 of 2020, landlords must have XRF lead inspections performed by August 9, 2025, or within one year of a child under the age of 6 residing in the unit. Contact us today if you have questions or would like to schedule an inspection.

Should I be concerned about lead?

Although lead paint was banned from NYC buildings in 1960, a significant number of older buildings still contain lead paint. There are currently approximately nine thousand public housing apartments in NYC known to contain lead paint.

Lead is a naturally-formed metal in the earth’s crust. However, lead is highly toxic to the human body and exposure can lead to lead poisoning, a serious yet preventable condition that is particularly dangerous for young children.

Lead can affect the brain, kidneys, bone marrow, and other organ systems, even at low levels in a child’s bloodstream. Exposure to lead also poses a significant risk for pregnant women, leading to serious problems such as premature births, congenital defects, and miscarriages. Lead poisoning can be prevented through proper testing and remediation of lead-based paint.

Besides lead paint, other common sources of lead exposure in the United States are old piping, outdoor soil, household dust, and contaminated drinking water. 

If you’re concerned about lead hazards in your residential or commercial property, contact Telos Environmental today.

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