The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request for a health hazard evaluation from the owner of a small business that manufactures and repairs neon tubes for commercial signs or artwork. The owner (also the sole worker) was concerned about possible health effects related to his exposures to mercury, lead, and cadmium. In response to this request, a NIOSH industrial hygienist conducted a site visit. Full-shift, personal breathing zone (PBZ) air samples for mercury, lead, and cadmium were collected. Real-time air monitoring for mercury was conducted throughout the shop area. Wipe samples of the work tables were collected using moist cloth wipes for analysis of lead and other elements. In addition to the site visit, the worker's medical records, including a urine heavy metals screening, was reviewed by a NIOSH physician.
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