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Lead exposure during lining of tanks with lead sheeting.
McCammon-C; Daniels-W; Hales-T; Lee-S
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1992 Feb; 7(2):88-91
The results of a NIOSH health hazard evaluation of lead (7439921) exposures among workers installing lead sheeting in two large steel vessels in Salt Lake City, Utah were discussed. Environmental and breathing zone samples were analyzed for lead, trace metals, and hydrogen-chloride (7647010). Seventeen employees on the day and evening shifts completed a symptom questionnaire and provided blood samples for lead and zinc-protoporphyrin (ZPP) determinations. A followup evaluation was performed 2.5 months after the initial survey to assess the effects of recommended changes in control measures and work practices. Time weighted average lead exposures ranged from 141 to 307 micrograms per cubic meter (microg/m3), well above the OSHA standard, 50microg/m3. The employees wore full or half face respirators. Lead was detected in wipe samples on table surfaces in the lunchroom, worker clothing and shoes which they wore home, in the workers cars, and on the floor of the change room. Hydrogen-chloride was detected at concentrations of 3 to 10+ parts per million. Significant amounts of trace metals were not detected. Noise levels averaged over all jobs were above 90 decibels-A. Temperatures during tinning operations ranged from 115 to 125 degrees-F. No symptoms suggestive of lead poisoning were reported. Blood lead concentrations averaged 34microg per 100 grams (microg/100g). Two employees had blood lead concentrations above the OSHA action level of 50microg/100g. ZPP concentrations averaged 58microg per deciliter (microg/dl). Seven workers had ZPP levels above the upper normal limit (50microg/dl). The authors conclude that employees at the site were overexposed to lead and noise. Preliminary results of the followup survey indicated that the company had implemented many of the recommendations and that these resulted in reduction of blood lead levels to 22microg/100g.
NIOSH-Author; Heavy-metals; Occupational-exposure; Construction-workers; Confined-spaces; Industrial-hygiene; Noise-exposure; Lead-poisoning
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division