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An evaluation of lead exposures during exterior renovation activities.

Piacitelli G; Sussell A
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2002 Jun; :95
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a study of lead exposures during exterior renovation involving lead-based paint (LBP). Worker personal airborne lead (PbA) exposures were assessed for eight different paint removal tasks during a demonstration project at a vacant multi-family housing site. Workers performed randomly-assigned tasks during limited work periods on painted surfaces; paint lead concentrations ranged from 0.23% to 34% Pb by weight. Personal PbA exposures were highly variable and ranged from none detected (ND) to 660 ug/m3 (GM=22 ug/m3, GSD 4.3). Task, worker, and paint lead concentration were jointly significantly associated with PbA exposures in a multi-variate model (p<.0001). Paint lead concentration alone was poorly correlated with PbA exposure (R=0.30). High-exposure tasks were dry manual sanding (GM=49 ug/m3), dry manual scraping (53 ug/m3), power finish sanding (44 ug/m3), and power finish sanding with dust bag (68 ug/m3). Low-exposure tasks were power sanding with HEPA filter (GM=6.9 ug/m3), wet manual sanding (6.21ug/m3), wet manual scraping (16 ug/m3), and flame burning (23 ug/m3). Since task-associated exposures were measured over short durations (average time=28 minutes), results are not directly comparable to the OSHA PEL-TWA (50 mg/m3). However, the GM was used to determine the time that a task could be performed without exceeding the PEL over an 8-hour period. For the high-exposure tasks, the average time to reach the PEL ranged from 2.4 hours for power sanding with bag to 4.4 hours for dry manual scraping. Exposures from the low-exposure tasks would not, on average, exceed the PEL within 8 hours. Results from this study indicate that pro- longed use of certain types of paint removal tasks, such as dry sanding, dry scraping, or power sanding without HEPA-filtered exhaust, should be avoided when renovating exterior surfaces with lead paint.
Lead-compounds; Lead-dust; Exposure-levels; Workers; Paint-removers; Paints; Painters; Construction-workers
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 1-6, 2002, San Diego, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division