sharing our knowledge.
Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.
Tapelift Lead Test

Potassium Iodide Test for Lead on a tapelift, Control

This is a part of the tapelift that was not tested for lead. This particle contained lead but the particle was colorless before the test with nitric acid and potassium iodide.

Reflected Darkfield Illumination


Lead containing particles on an environmental tapelift can be detected by adding a small droplet of 10% nitric acid which is then blotted off, followed by a 10% droplet of potassium iodide and blotting that off. The result is a bright flash of yellow on the particles that contain lead. The tapelift is dried, applied to a clean microscope slide and processed as normal. The lead containing particles can then be identified in the environment with respect to the other particles in the environment.

Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

Associated Particles:


Chamot, Emile Monnin and Clyde Walter Mason, HANDBOOK OF CHEMICAL MICROSCOPY, Volume II, pp. 203-4, 1940.