Simple Lead Detection with Sodium Sulfide
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lampblack



Joined: 06 Jun 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:11 pm    Post subject: Simple Lead Detection with Sodium Sulfide Reply with quote

John,

Thank you for the amazing window restoration class. The number of hings I learned in three days was great. I have some materials on order now and will be getting some windows worked on this summer.

In regards to being safe when working with lead, I have a few suggestions that should be handy to the masses of folks out there scraping away at lead paint.

First up are two soaps that are formulated for the removal of lead and heavy metal contaminates from skin. I have not used either product and can not comment on their effectiveness, but the literature claims a significant improvement over regular soap and water:
http://www.sashas.net/CleanAll.html
https://www.esca-tech.com/ProductDetail.php?category=1000&productnum=4222ES

Also, from the first URL above is the suggestion to use a Sodium Sulfide solution as a "lead detector". I have not attempted this yet, but it seems rather simple.
Sodium Sulfide can be picked up at various chemical supply shops - If anyone can find better pricing let me know, but so far I have found:
http://stores.photoformulary.com/-strse-689/SODIUM-SULFIDE%2C-Swan-Valley/Detail.bok
Detailed instructions can be found here:
http://www.sashas.net/images/documents/doc_lead_reveal.pdf
and here: http://www.sashas.net/images/documents/doc_lead_detection.pdf

The basic concept is spray the solution on a surface (hands, tools, wall..etc) and watch for a color change. Its a bit like the cool plaque pills the dentists used to have. Brush your teeth, chew a "pill", and suddenly all the spots you missed turn bright red.

As part of the lead safety training you cover in the classroom, it may be handy to use this solution as a visible training aid. I bet it would convince a few students to scrub harder at the sink before consuming some of those tasty cookies!

Regards,
A
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2924
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better living through chemistry.

This will fit right into my famous Kitchen Kemistry Kit.

Thanks!

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John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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jbmnd93



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Article you linked to said the test will give you a positive if it also contacts iron or copper (and some other metals).
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