Permits & Lead Testing Guidelines
The following instructions were developed by the Office of Sustainability and the Environment to ensure that sand-blasting permits are restricted to
projects for which it has been demonstrated that lead levels are below
appropriate thresholds. These guidelines should be reviewed before
issuing a sand-blasting permit to the public.
Where Do I Get a Sandblasting Permit?
Applications for sand-blasting permits are issued by the
Building and Safety Division located in City Hall. For more information
please call (310) 458-8355.
How Many Samples are Required?
The intent of sampling is to develop a representative picture of
the lead content of all surfaces to be sandblasted. A ‘surface’ is
defined as The number of samples that is deemed representative can
change from site to site, for example, multiple structures with larger
surfaces will require more samples. If you are uncertain, please
contact Environmental Programs Division staff for assistance.
MULTIPLE SURFACES (Each Stand-Alone Structure with Multiple Surfaces)
RULE -- One (1) Sample From EACH Surface
For each building structure, at least one sample is required from EACH surface to be sandblasted.
Each wall of a single-story structure is a separate surface and
requires a separate sample. Each wall of each additional story
constitutes an additional surface. For an average one-story
single-family home with four exterior walls, a minimum of 4 samples is
required. Each sample should be taken from a different wall on the
building. A detached garage constitutes a separate structure.
SINGLE SURFACE (Detached or Attached)
RULE -- Two (2) Samples From The Surface
If a permit application includes a single surface such as one wall
of a building or a stand-alone wall, or other materials such as hand
railing, then two samples are required for that surface.
Surfaces to be Sandblasted
||Four (4) sides from a single-story house
||FOUR (4) samples, one from each wall
||Four (4) sides from a single-story house with detached stucco wall
||SIX (6) samples, one from each wall of house and two from the detached wall.
||Four (4) sides from a single-story house [first structure] with three (3) walls from a detached garage [second structure].
||SEVEN (7) samples, one from each wall of the house and one from each wall of the garage.
||One stucco wall
||TWO (2) samples from the detached wall.
||Four (4) sides from a two (2) story apartment building.
||EIGHT (8) samples, one from each wall of each story.
||Four (4) sides from a large two (2) story commercial / industrial building.
||SIXTEEN (16) samples, Two from each wall of each story.
There are two tests that can be used to test for lead. Basic
descriptions are provided below including the unit of analysis and the
threshold for each method. If one or more samples exceeds the given
threshold, then the sandblasting permit shall be denied.
1. Paint-Chip Analysis
Unit of Analysis: parts per million (ppm) = milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg)
Results at or above the thresholds require a state certified lead
abatement contractor to do any work that will disturb the lead
contaminated materials including the proper management of the waste.
Lists of laboratories, lead consultants, and lead abatement contractors
are provided. Please note, these are not to be construed as
endorsements by the City Of Santa Monica. If you have any questions,
please contact EPD.
Threshold: 600 (ppm) or 600 (mg/kg)
one or more samples exceeds 600 parts per million (ppm) or 600 (mg/kg),
then the sandblasting permit shall be denied. Test results shall be
expressed as the actual concentration of lead detected by the analysis
and not as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’; please refer such cases to the
Environmental Programs Division.
Sampling Methods for Paint-Chip Analysis
paint-chip sample should be representative of the surface. Federal HUD
Guidelines recommend collection of at least a 4-square-inch area to be
placed in a sealable rigid container. Plastic tubes or jars with a
screw top are better than plastic bags. Paint-chip collection should
include, as a priority, collection of all the paint layers from the
substrate, while minimizing any collection of actual substrate. (For
further details, refer to ASTM ES 28-94.)
Analysis for Paint-Chips
analysis must be performed by a laboratory that is certified in the
state of California to perform lead tests. A list of some laboratories
2. X-Ray Flouresence (XRF)
Unit of Analysis: milligrams per square centimeter (mg/cm2)
Threshold: 0.7 (mg/cm2)
If one or more samples exceeds 0.7 (mg/cm2), then the sandblasting permit shall be denied.
Sampling Methods for XRF
XRF method requires special equipment and training and is typically
used only by environmental consultants who are hired to conduct the
sampling. A list of some consultants is provided.
Reporting Illegal Sandblasting:
If you suspect that someone is operating without a valid sand-blasting permit please call the:
City of Santa Monica Code Compliance Office
If you suspect a public health risk but no sandblasting is evident please call:
(310) 4580-4984, or Building and Safety (310) 458-8355
County of Los Angeles Health Department
(323) 869-7066, or:
Last updated: Tuesday, 12/08/2015
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