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Decontamination of Lead Wastes from Superfund Sites.

Wethington AM; Lee AY; Gorman MG
Paper in Proceeds of Hmc-south '92 Hazardous Materials Control Res Inst PP 117-122 :117-122
From 1946 to 1980, discarded lead-acid batteries were processed on a 25-acre site in Ohio to reclaim lead for resale. This processing left 55,000 yd3 of waste battery casings mixed with lead sulfate- oxide sludge and metallic lead. An additional 85,000 to 10,000 (ed.- Evidently 100,000) yd3 of soil surrounding the waste piles were also contaminated. Subsequently, the site was declared a superfund site. An interagency agreement was entered into with the U.S. Environmental agency to use the Bureau-develop technology for electrolytically recycling battery scrap to decontaminate this and other similar superfund sites. Battery casing wastes and lead- contaminated soil samples were obtained from the Ohio site. The casing waste analyzed 900 to 3,000 ppm lead and the lead content of the soil ranged from 0.05 to 2 pct. EPA criteria for successful cleanup of the wastes were that the soil had to pass the EPA extraction procedure toxicity test and that the residual lead concentration in the casing waste and soil had to be less than 500 ppm. Cleanup treatment for casings involved wet screening, removal of metallic lead and loosely adherent sludge, size reduction, carbonation to convert pbso4 to pbco3, acid leaching, and rinsing. Soil was carbonated and wet screened to remove rocks, wood, etc. The minus 18-mesh fraction ( 70 pct of the soil, containing 93 pct of the lead) was acid-leached and rinsed. Nitric and fluosilicic acids were used for leaching. After treatment, the lead concentration in the casings and soil met both of the EPA criteria.
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 45-92
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Paper in Proceeds of Hmc-south '92. Hazardous Materials Control Res. Inst., PP. 117-122
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division