A task-based approach to assessing lead exposure among iron workers engaged in bridge rehabilitation.
Goldberg M; Levin SM; Doucette JT; Griffin G
Am J Ind Med 1997 Mar; 31(3):310-318
A task based approach was used to assess lead (7439-92-1) exposure among structural steel iron workers engaged in a large, complex bridge rehabilitation project. Task specific and multitask airborne samples were collected using personal monitors, and operation specific and 8 hour time weighted averages were calculated. Of the 279 individual personal breathing zone samples collected, with sampling periods ranging from 10 to 424 minutes, 105 were task specific. Bulk paint samples were also analyzed and found to have lead content ranging from 26.5% to 61.5%, with a mean of 39.1%. Significant differences were seen in exposure levels among the different tasks. Arithmetic mean exposures varied from 1,357 microgram/cubic meter (microg/m3) lead for torch cutting and 989 microg/m3 for scaling to 31 microg/m3 for reaming and 4 microg/m3 for drilling. The specific task data was very different from mean exposure levels. The task based results were compared to the task based exposure levels presented by OSHA in its Lead Exposure in Construction Interim Final Rule, and good general agreement was seen between the two sets of data. The authors conclude that task based data is very useful in exposure assessment and much more precise than full shift and operation based measurements in guiding strategies for worker protection. The findings support the collection of task based data routinely in the evaluation of lead exposure in construction work.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Neurotoxic-effects; Inorganic-lead; Lead-dust; Occupational-exposure; Task-performance; Time-weighted-average-exposure; Breathing-zone; Exposure-levels; Construction-workers;
Author Keywords: lead exposure; task-based assessment; construction industry; OSHA lead standard
Mark Goldberg, Hunter College, 425 E. 25 Street, Box 601, New York, NY 10010
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Neurotoxic Disorders; Neurotoxic-effects
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Center to Protect Workers' Rights, Washington, DC