This morning we received a simple inquiry from a potential (Water Test Kit Store on) Amazon customer who asked, "Does this kit test for particulate lead or just dissolved lead?"
We checked with the WaterSafe and learned the following:
According to the manufacturer, "Our Watersafe® Lead Test Kit can detect dissolved lead at levels below the EPA Action Level of 15 parts per billion (ppb)."
To test for what some call total lead, which would include particulate lead and free dissolved lead you would need to send a water sample to a laboratory where they would more than likely perform some sort of acid digestion to break down the all forms of the metal into a detectable state.
Testing for metals in general?
For most folks the first step in determining what, if any advanced metals testing needs to or should take place involves taking a look at a water sample to see if it contains metals at all. For that task the SenSafe Heavy Metals Check product works well since it detects a wide range of metals and gives a total metal concentration as its result.
SenSafe Heavy Metals Check will not tell you what metal(s) it detects or give individual metal concentrations, but rather it adds any observed concentrations together into a single value. If that value seems 'high', then you may want to consider testing for metals of particular interest due to their potentially hazardous nature if consumed in drinking water. Those metals may include (but are in no way limited to) lead, mercury, chromium and/or arsenic.
Other metals such as copper, zinc, iron, manganese may pose health hazards in really high concentrations, but typically water supplies will not contain levels that high without man-made influence(s). Metals like these can, however, cause aesthetic problems at lower concentrations and some may cause damage to plumbing in the form metallic deposits that restrict water flow.