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Occupational exposures during abrasive blasting removal of lead- based paint on a highway bridge.
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1992 Aug; 7(8):497-499
A request was received by NIOSH to evaluate possible hazardous working conditions experienced by construction workers exposed to lead (7439921) during the abrasive blasting removal of lead based paint from a bridge. Partial containment of abrasive blasting work was in effect at the worksite when the NIOSH investigation started. The partial containment captured only the largest particles. During abrasive blasting, dense clouds of finer dust particles, similar to a brown fog, were observed creating a plume of visible contamination up to 150 yards in length downwind. The studies conducted indicated that workers were overexposed to airborne lead during the blasting. Blasters were exposed to consistently high levels of airborne lead. Lead contamination was noted on working surfaces, vehicles, tools, and clothing. A general lack of adequate personal hygiene facilities was also noted. Although respirator protection was provided, it was not sufficient to adequately protect the workers from overexposure to lead. Sampling for personal noise exposures also indicated that full shift average noise levels consistently represented a health hazard. Recommendations were made to improve engineering controls, work practices, respiratory protection programs, comprehensive hearing conservation programs, and personal hygiene facilities.
NIOSH-Author; Construction-industry; Lead-poisoning; Lead-fumes; Sand-blasting; Sand-blasters; Personal-protective-equipment; Noise-exposure; Occupational-exposure
Issue of Publication
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division