One of the sampling methods that lead abatement workers can use to determine the presence and amount of lead is the collection of dust wipe samples. This is a simple method that makes it possible to measure the amount of lead in surfaces by merely quantifying the lead amounts in dust particles. After a lead abatement activity, dust wipe sampling can also confirm whether or not the cleanup was successful and traces of lead have been removed from the surface.
Dust samples collection only works for hard, smooth and nonporous surfaces. This means that it cannot be used for textured surfaces such as rough concrete, brickwork, or fibrous surfaces like carpets and textile-covered furniture.
The dust samples can be collected in floors and window sills. Using plastic gloves, the lead abatement worker first marks the sampling location with a template or a masking tape. With another pair of clean plastic gloves, the lead abatement worker performs a side-to-side first wipe of the entire surface followed by a second wiping from top to bottom using the other side of the wipe. A third wiping is done in the corners of the sampling area using the remaining clean side of the wipe. All of this is done to maximize the amount of dust picked up.
The collected samples are then analyzed in an EPA-certified laboratory capable of identifying lead substances in dust samples.