October 10 - October 14, 2016

University of Michigan researchers are working on a home lead test kit that can test paint for lead content down to 5,000 ppm, by dropping a chip into a solution and heating it. Good or bad idea?

Answers Votes
Bad idea. Lead content standards will be lower in the future, and it's just dangerous to ask consumers to heat chemicals in a vial. 67%
Good idea. The current U.S. standard is 5,000 ppm and a more accurate lead test is needed. 33%

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Comment from Jesse Melton, (10/13/2016, 8:06 AM)

Higher resolution testing is fine, great even, but the process involved is what makes any given test a viable consumer product. This is the country where pregnancy tests were confusing people. The most common cause of total engine failure is lack of oil and only 2.(something) of every 10 people know how to check the oil level in their car. Asking the general consumer to perform an actual lab experiment in their home sounds like something a supervillain would do.

Comment from john schultz, (10/14/2016, 9:57 AM)

Information in this question is lacking. Less than a few painters and even fewer homeowners will bother to buy these kits I believe. Still, I think it is a good idea to have a better test than the cardboard tube and pink swabs. Maybe a mail-in test to a lab would be a better plan. It raises the question however of what happens next, now that I know I have a vial of lead contaminated fluid, what do you do with that?

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