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Effectiveness in disease and injury prevention control of excessive lead exposure in radiator repair workers.
MMWR 1991 Mar; 40(8):139-141
The effectiveness of three control technologies in reducing lead (7439921) exposures in automotive radiator repair shops was summarized. Radiator repair shop use of engineering controls such as wall or roof mounted propeller fans, or electrostatic precipitators did not reduce the amount of airborne lead levels below the current OSHA permissible exposure limit of 50 micrograms/cubic meter (microg/m3). Inadequate environmental monitoring and medical surveillance for lead exposure placed the radiator repair worker at risk for lead poisoning. The exhaust ventilation control systems evaluated in this study that reduce lead concentrations below OSHA standards included a ventilated enclosure, movable exhaust hood, and a ventilated booth. Personal breathing zone samples obtained from a worker using the ventilated enclosure averaged 9.9microg/m3, compared to 453microg/m3 for a worker using an identical workstation without ventilation. Lead exposure for radiator mechanics working with a movable exhaust hood averaged 12microg/m3, while personal breathing zone lead levels were as high as 193microg/m3 for workers without the exhaust hood. The average lead exposure for repair workers using a ventilated booth system averaged 9microg/m3 compared to 98microg/m3 before the installation of the new workstation. The three exhaust ventilation systems described in this study adequately met the need for effective engineering controls in radiator repair shops.
NIOSH-Author; Air-quality-control; Automobile-repair-shops; Automotive-industry; Humans; Lead-compounds; Lead-fumes; Lead-poisoning; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards
Issue of Publication
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division