You should check with your local or county health department. In Wisconsin, the Department of Health and Family Services are the Credentialing Authority for Lead Testing.
Using the ARF machine is the most accurate for checking the overall lead levels. However, for clearence testing for abatement projects and spot checking, ghost wipes and pain chip sampling is just fine. The most important thing to look for is loose, peeling, chipping paint. That’s what gets injested and can be EXTREMELY harmul especially to children under the age of 6.
There are also new rulesthat will be going into effect next year (2010) that requires a Lead Abatement Supervisor to be on-site for ANY abatement projects. That means even the owner of the dwelling cannot perform the work on target housing without the proper credentials. There is a brochure available on-linefrom the EPA that simplifies the rules. It sounds like the new president is proposing Lead Abatement Activities as part of his Stimulus Package.