CDC logoSafer Healthier People CDC HomeCDC SearchCDC Health Topics A-Z
NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Skip navigation links Search NIOSH  |  NIOSH Home  |  NIOSH Topics  |  Site Index  |  Databases and Information Resources  |  NIOSH Products  |  Contact Us

NIOSH Program Portfolio

 

Construction

NORA Construction Sector Strategic Goals

927Z1UK - Improving Hand Washing (Lead Wipes)

Start Date: 10/1/2005
End Date: 9/30/2010

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Carol Stephenson
Phone: 513-533-8581
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: EID
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed
None

Secondary Goal Addressed
None

Attributed to Construction
50%

Project Description

Short Summary

NIOSH-developed color-changing lead detection hand wipes provide an easy-to-use and objective exposure assessment tool to evaluate the effectiveness of hand washing practices for lead exposed workers. However, an evaluation of the impact of color-changing feedback on workers' behavior has not been done. The purpose of the laboratory-based and field-based pilot studies are to determine whether participants that receive color-changing feedback from hand wipes make improvements in hand washing practices as compared to participants that do not receive the color-changing feedback. A telephone survey will examine the types of businesses that may or may not be aware of the availability of the hand wipe technology.



Description

Ineffective hand cleaning practices may result in unseen contamination that can be internally ingested or carried into the home to contaminate family members and the home environment. NIOSH researchers developed and patented a safe and easy-to-use color-changing hand wipe and associated procedures for testing for the presence of lead contamination on workers' hands. After hand washing, the wipes are rubbed over the hands to gather remaining lead contaminants, and subsequently sprayed with a mild aqueous acetic acid (pH 2.5) to solubilize the lead into lead ions and then with rhodizonate that turns red in the presence of the lead ions. Consequently, the wipes provide a visual indicator for the presence of lead contaminants that may remain on workers’ hands after hand washing, thus indicating the need for further decontamination. The effectiveness of the wipes as a feedback and motivational tool has not been tested. Laboratory analyses of the amount of lead traces remaining on the used hand wipes will provide an objective and measurable test of the effectiveness of the hand washing practices and soaps. The participants' amount of time spent hand washing and washing techniques will be recorded and integrated into the data analyses.



This study will provide the first field test data (phase 2) on the hand decontamination performance of workers using the wipes, on worker attitudes towards this new technology and on the employer’s impressions regarding the feasibility of use of this technology. In addition, both a controlled laboratory-based pilot study (phase 1) and a telephone survey pilot study (phase 3) will be conducted. The laboratory-based pilot study will evaluate both the impact of the color-changing feedback, as well as the impact of two different types of hand soap (soap specifically designed for cleaning lead contamination and a more-commonly used non-lead-specific soap) so as to account for differences in hand soap products currently used in lead-hazardous industries. The telephone survey pilot study will gather information on employer awareness of the hand wipe product and impact of the impact of the receipt of the product on workplace decontamination practices.



Due to the loss of critical staff, this project is on hold.



Objectives

Goal 1: To determine whether study participants that directly receive color-changing feedback from the hand

wipes make improvements in their hand washing practices as compared to study participants that do not receive this feedback (phases 1 and 2).



Goal 2: Examine worker and employer perceptions of the effectiveness and usefulness of the NIOSH-developed color-changing lead detection hand wipe method as a feedback and exposure assessment tool that helps workers in lead hazardous industries improve their hand washing practices (phase 1, 2, and 3).



Goal 3: Examine whether employers from lead-hazardous industries are aware of and use the hand wipe method as a feedback and exposure assessment tool that helps workers in lead hazardous industries improve their hand washing practices, and subsequently whether employers that are not using this product change their decontamination practices following the receipt of the product (phase 3).



Page last updated:April 24, 2013
Page last reviewed:May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director

 

NIOSH Program:

Construction

construction worker, crane, architect