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Lead-containing Materials Survey


PHH provides lead assessments for compliance with Health and Safety Regulations, Lead at Work Regulations, and CDM Regulations.

PHH Environmental (UK) Limited provide surveys for lead-containing materials (LCMs) on all categories of buildings throughout the UK. We are particularly accomplished at working in occupied premises that require a sensitive approach to occupants.

Each survey results in a report containing a Lead Register. The register contains a list of all suspect LCMs and the laboratory test results. This register also contains a detailed risk assessment taking into account a wide range of priority factors. Recommendations for dealing with any LCMs are also made within the report.

Lead-based paint will be identified through bulk sampling and subsequent laboratory analysis. Representative samples will be taken of paint applications suspected to contain lead.

Our services are competitive and ‘best value’. Prospective clients should be aware that there are a number of ‘cowboy’ operators that do not have insurance cover, who are offering LCM surveys.


There are two methods of conducting this kind of inspections, each with its pros and cons. It is usually best to blend the two methods together to provide a good in-depth investigation.

1. Bulk sampling and analysis

Lead samples are analyzed by ICP/EOS method.  (The analytical procedure for the determination of metals in soils, waters, animal feedstuffs, edible products, and filters by Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrophotometry (ICP-OES) or Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS),  testing carried out by UKAS accredited independent lab.

The detection limit of the method for samples of lead in paint is 1mg/Kg

Our methodology for taking lead samples is exactly the same as the methodology for taking bulk asbestos samples, Relevant PPE and RPE is used with HEPA shadow vacuuming. We follow methods of least disturbance of material.

Our assessors have experience with sampling in schools, stations, hospitals, etc where such considerations have to be taken very seriously. CRB checked The Asbestos P402 qualification is most applicable for this kind of sampling as there is no formal lead inspection certification in existence.

Points to note

We always need to clarify what kind of information that is required to be collected, e.g, room Id, material type, location, quantity, photographic evidence, schematics, etc as these will directly affect the amount of time needed on-site and during report generation.

2. XRF Inspections

Alternatively, we can produce an XRF only inspection. In this case, the survey is carried out using an XRF lead paint analyzer which provides an instant read-out of lead content. This method can be coupled with taking samples, as above, where readings are of a high concentration for lead for laboratory analysis and confirmation.  This form of inspection however does incur the extra cost of hiring the apparatus but is usually cheaper than taking many bulk samples.

Our assessors are CHAS, Constructionline, BOHS, and BDMA accredited along with P401-5, where applicable.