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Field portable measurement of airborne beryllium, chromium, lead and other metals: instruments, methods and future directions. Part II: chromium, lead and other metals.
Lawryk NJ; Ashley KE; Drake PL
Synergist 2005 May; 16(5):54-61
More than 6 million workers in the United States are employed in construction, mining, welding and other occu- pations that involve metalworking tasks. Variables such as prevailing conditions, the procedure and materials used determine the type, amount and mixture of airborne metals produced. This information along with the worker's time at task is used to assess exposures. As adverse health effects have been linked to specific air- borne metals (see Figure 1), standards based on dust and fume mass per unit volume of air such as the NIOSH recom- mended exposure limit for welding fume were discontinued. Research efforts at NIOSH are now focused on identifying, characterizing and evaluating portable instruments in order to develop methods for the rapid and reliable measurement of these elements. Traditionally, workplace samples were sent away to fixed-site laboratories for analysis. In some cases, the analytical results take weeks or even months to arrive. Such delays can compromise worker health if exposures are found to be excessive. Methods using field portable instruments allow the screening or analysis of samples on location with same-day speed. Samples analyzed nondestructively can be sent for confirmatory analyses if exposures appear to be close to or exceeding the occupational exposure limit. This reduces the number of samples sent to laboratories and makes the exposure assessment process far more cost-effective. Portable methods also facilitate the proper selection and evaluation of exposure controls to reduce the potential for adverse health effects among workers. This article describes the portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technologies under evaluation at NIOSH for the measurement of airborne lead and other metals, as well as a need NIOSH method for the measurement of airborne hexavalent chromium.
Airborne-particles; Beryllium-compounds; Chromium-compounds; Lead-compounds; Metals; Workers; Worker-health; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Mining-industry; Mine-workers; Metalworking-industry; Metalworking; Welding-industry; Welders; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Fumes; Dusts; Dust-particles; Workplace-studies; Sampling; Sampling-methods
7440-41-7; 7440-47-3; 7439-92-1
Issue of Publication
HELD; DART; SRL
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
WV; OH; WA
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division