wall with peeling paintLead is often found in homes and apartments built before 1978 in old paint, varnish, and dust. Children under 6 are at risk of lead poisoning from eating or breathing dust and paint chips.​​

Read more about lead poisoning.


When to Test for Lead

You should test for lead if your home or apartment was built before 1978 if:

  • You have peeling or chipping paint
  • You have windows, floors, and doors that may have paint dust
  • You are going to paint or remodel surfaces with old paint or varnish.

Sample Collection

You can collect a sample from any surface, including furniture.

  1. Collect one or more paint or varnish chips so the total is equal to the size of a quarter. Include all layers of paint or varnish without any of the wood, plaster, etc.

  2. Place each quarter-sized sample in a clean plastic bag and seal it. Do not mix chips from different surfaces or locations. Treat each paint chip as a different sample.
  3. Label each bag with the following information:
    • Your name
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Location paint chip was found (example: interior windowsill)
    • Surface type (example: exterior siding)
  4. Complete this form.
  5. Mail or deliver samples, completed form, and payment to the address below.
  6. Results are usually available in ten business days after we get your sample. Rush orders (results in 5 business days) might be available. Call about availability and fee before mailing or dropping off samples.

Results are usually available in ten business days after we get your sample. Rush orders (results in 5 business days) might be available. Call about availability and fee before mailing or dropping off samples. 


Cost

  • Cost is $30.00 per sample.
  • We accept cash, or check made out to City Treasurer.

Mail sample and payment to:
Public Health Madison and Dane County
ATTN: Laboratory
210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd RM 507
Madison WI 53703

(We cannot be responsible for cash payment sent through the mail.)

Sample Drop Off:
Monday - Friday 8:00AM to 2:00PM
Public Health Office
Room 507, City County Building
210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, room 507
Madison, WI 53703