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A comparison of x-ray fluorescence and wet chemical analysis of air filters from a scrap lead smelting operation.

Harper M; Andrew M; Hallmark T
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2004 May; :52
Personal and area air samples were taken at a scrap lead smelter operation at a bullet manufacturer using the 37-mm styrene/acrylonitrile filter cassette, the 37-mm GSP or "cone" sampler, the 25-mm Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) inhalable sampler, and the 25-mm Button sampler (developed by the University of Cincinnati). Pure, homopolymer, polyvinylchloride filters were used to capture lead particulate. The filters were pre- and post-weighed, and analyzed for lead content using a portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer. The filters were then extracted with dilute nitric acid in a sonic bath and the solutions analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). The 25-mm filters were analyzed using a single XRF reading, while three readings on different parts of the filter were taken from the 37-mm filters in accordance with current NIOSH/OSHA methodology. The single reading from the 25-mm filters was adjusted for the nominal area of the filter to obtain the mass loading, while the three readings from the 37-mm filters were inserted into two different algorithms for calculating the mass loadings, one from NIOSH and one from OSHA, and the algorithms were compared. The IOM is the only sampler where material collected in the sampler, but not caught on the filter, is intended to be part of the sampler. Therefore, the cassettes were rinsed separately to determine how this might bias the on-filter analysis, but ICP analysis found only insignificant amounts of lead, in line with other studies. All four samplers gave very good correlations between the two analytical methods above the limit of quantitation of the XRF procedure, although the limit was lower for the 25-mm filters (3 ug) than for the 37-mm filters (10 ug). For both types of 37-mm filter, the OSHA algorithm gave results closer to the ICP values than the NIOSH algorithm.
X-ray-analysis; X-ray-fluorescence-analysis; Chemical-analysis; Air-filters; Sampling; Lead-smelting; Smelting; Air-samples; Air-sampling; Metal-industry; Metal-compounds; Lead-compounds; Filters; Particulates; Samplers; Sampling-methods; Sampling-equipment
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 8-13, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: August 26, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division