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Lead, chromium, and cadmium exposure during abrasive blasting.
Conroy-LM; Menezes-Lindsay-RM; Sullivan-PM; Cali-S; Forst-L
Arch Environ Health 1996 Mar; 51(2):95-99
A study was conducted examining levels of exposure to lead (7439921), cadmium (7440439), and chromium (7440473) within a containment area constructed for abrasive blasting of a steel bridge during paint removal activities. Lead levels were monitored by personal and area sampling and area sampling was performed for chromium during the first of two 8 month construction seasons and for cadmium during the second season. In addition, exposure levels were assessed by analysis of blood lead levels. Lead levels in personal air samples collected inside supplied air helmets ranged from 14 to 4,401 micrograms/cubic meter. Levels exceeding those currently allowed by OSHA were measured in 106 of 125 samples. Average blood levels in excess of 25 micrograms/deciliter were measured in 18 of 22 tested workers; five of these had levels high enough to necessitate medical removal had current OSHA standards been in force at the time. Foremen had the highest medial blood lead levels for groups of workers over three seasons. Median area concentrations of lead, chromium, and cadmium were 10,970, 23.5, and 15.7 micrograms/cubic meter, respectively, for the bridge and 3,277, 369, and 1.31 micrograms/cubic meter, respectively, for the viaduct. The authors recommend that studies examining additional engineering controls and alternative methods of paint removal as well as evaluations of exposure to lead and other hazardous materials during projects involving abrasive blasting be conducted.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Training; Lead-compounds; Chromium-compounds; Cadmium-compounds; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Construction-workers; Abrasive-blasting
Occupational and Environ Med University of Illinois 2035 W Taylor Street Chicago, Ill 60612
7439-92-1; 7440-43-9; 7440-47-3
Grant-Number-T15-OH-07104; Grant-Number-K01-OH-000078; Grant-Number-R03-OH-002680
Issue of Publication
Archives of Environmental Health
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division