LeadCheck Swabs Have 64% Failure Rate



“They’ve done studies, you know. Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.”-Brian Fantana, Anchorman, 2004

That line was used by a character in a movie comedy. The character, played by actor Paul Rudd, was describing a cologne that he was planning on wearing to help convince a woman to go out with him.

If someone uses that line to talk about something harmless like cologne, it’s comedy. But if the subject of the study were a heavily marketed chemical test that was supposed to protect the health of you and your family, it wouldn’t be funny at all.

A company called Hybrivet Systems has been selling a swab that, according to their website, is supposed to, “…provide a rapid, sensitive and specific test for leachable lead on any surface.” The swabs are supposed to be rubbed on any surface, and if any lead is present in a higher concentration than EPA standards allow, the surface of the swab is supposed to turn from yellow to pink or red.

Hybrivet Systems has had their LeadCheck swabs on the market since 1992, and are currently being sold in packs of 48 swabs for just under $90 and 96 swabs for just under $150. They are sold at retailers, used by property owners and landlords and recommended by city and county governments as a reliable way to determine if there is lead on any property or surface.

The problem is that they aren’t reliable. And since lead is one of the most dangerous and damaging substances that could possibly exist in a house, Hybrivet Systems has been putting lives at risk.

A study done by the University of Rochester recently determined that 64% of the swabs that came into contact with lead contaminated surfaces listed them as safe, when in reality they contained levels of lead in the dust that were both higher than EPA standards and potentially very dangerous.

Katrina Korfmacher, Ph. D. and lead author of the study, was quoted as saying “…“it’s clear from our study that LeadCheck Swabs shouldn’t be used to determine if house dust contains lead in excess of the EPA standards.”

Lead is a serious threat to public health, and can be extremely harmful in even the smallest of amounts. It can cause severe and irreversible damage to those who ingest it. Symptoms of lead poisoning can include abdominal pain, muscular weakness and fatigue, constipation, and headache. Severe exposure can cause nervous system disorders, high blood pressure, and even death.

Hybrivet Systems is marketing a product that doesn’t work as advertised, and this situation is as bad as a company that sells smoke detectors that don’t work or fire extinguishers that don’t put out fires. The fact that no one has called Hybrivet Systems on this is appalling.

Virginia Lead Poisoning Lawyer Richard Serpe

As one of America’s leading lead poisoning attorneys, Richard Serpe knows full well the damage that lead can do to people. He has represented families in multiple states who have had the quality of their lives diminished in unimaginable ways due to uncaring property owners or corporations that carelessly pollute the environment around them. If you or a loved one has experienced illnesses or permanent medical conditions due to the ingestion of lead, contact our offices for a free legal consultation today.



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