A comparison study of a vacuum filter method and the OSHA and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) methods for sampling lead in household dusts was performed. The vacuum filter method involved passing a Tygon or steel tube attached to a 37 millimeter (mm) mixed cellulose ester filter/vacuum pump over the surface to be sampled. The OSHA and HUD procedures were wipe sampling techniques that used moistened Whatman filter paper and commercial wipes with a nonalcohol wetting agent to collect dust samples, respectively. Lead containing dust was generated in a 1 cubic meter exposure chamber and then uniformly deposited onto samples of painted wood, unpainted wood, varnished wood, linoleum, and carpet. Dust samples were collected by the three methods. The samples were then digested with concentrated nitric-acid and the digests were analyzed for lead by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy. The dust concentrations in the samples ranged from 2.08 to 94.09 micrograms per 225 square centimeters of sample area. On all hard surfaces, the HUD method generally achieved the best recoveries. The maximum recoveries obtained by the vacuum and OSHA methods on these surfaces seldom exceeded 80%. On the carpeting samples, the vacuum method obtained the best results, achieving recoveries of 26.2 to 47.8%. The HUD and OSHA methods yielded recoveries on carpeting of 2.2 to 26.3%. Across all surfaces, the recoveries obtained by the three methods were strongly correlated with each other. Across the three methods, the highest recoveries were obtained on linoleum, followed by varnished wood, painted wood, unpainted wood, and carpeting. The authors conclude that on all hard surfaces, the HUD method is the most accurate. The vacuum method is the most accurate on carpeted surfaces.
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