What is XRF?
XRF is a portable x-ray machine (x-ray fluorescence) that can identify lead underneath surfaces.
How do I comply with Local Law 31?
Conduct XRF testing in all units before August 9, 2025 (with earlier due dates for each unit depending on whether or not a child under 6 lives or routinely spends 10 or more hours per week in a unit). As a result of Local Law 111 of 2023 common areas must now also be XRF tested - this part of the law goes into effect in June 2024. (See more information below)
This applies to multiple-dwellings which now include 1-2 family homes/units where the owner does not reside.
Please check out our expert video series featuring NAJO Consulting. It covers all the basics you need to know about XRF test requirements.
Local Law 69 - Lead Paint Threshold Change
The HPD has updated its definition of lead-based paint levels from 1.0 mg/cm2 to 0.5 mg/cm2 in a new rule, effective on December 1, 2021. See attached document PDF.
1. What violation will be issued by HPD if the XRF reading is 0.5 mg/cm2?
According to the HUD-approved PCS for the Viken model XRF instrument, a result of 0.5 mg/cm2 is inconclusive when tested using the re-programmed instrument. HPD will issue a violation for a lead-based paint hazard testing at 0.5 mg/cm2 but allow the owner to contest the violation by providing paint chip analysis results that would determine the paint to be negative.
2. Will an XRF reading of 0.4 mg/cm2 result in a lead-based paint violation from HPD?
No. XRF machine readings are provided to the tenth place (i.e. 0.1, 0.4, 0.6). A result at or below 0.4 mg/cm2 is below the threshold for the issuance of a violation.
3. Will an XRF reading of 0.6 mg/cm2 result in a lead-based paint violation??
Yes. XRF machine readings are provided to the tenth place (i.e. 0.1, 0.4, 0.6). A result at or above 0.6 mg/cm2 will be positive according to the PCS. As such, owners will not be able to contest a violation issued at or above 0.6 mg/cm2 with a paint chip analysis.
4. Will property owners be required to contest a violation order #616 (presumed lead-based paint hazard violations) issued prior to December 1, 2021 with an XRF reading that is below 0.5 mg/cm2?
For violations issued as an order #616 prior to December 1, 2021, property owners will be able to contest the violation using 1.0 mg/cm2 as the definition of lead-based paint. Property owners may use either an XRF testing performed by an instrument set to measure lead-based paint at 1.0 mg/cm2 or an instrument set to measure at 0.5 mg/cm2 as long at the numeric result of the test is less than 1.0 mg/cm2, the definition of lead-based paint at the time it was issued.
Local Law 111 of 2023
As of June 2024, common areas must now also be XRF tested.
That same month, HPD will be required to “conduct visual inspection[s] of paint condition[s] in common area[s] observed in the inspector’s line of travel when the inspector is in the building to complete a complaint-based lead paint inspection in a dwelling unit.” Basically, if a resident calls 311 to report a lead-based paint complaint or potential violation, inspectors must now visually check common areas on their way to (and back) from the unit in question.