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Objective comparison of wipe sampling media for determining lead on hands.

Boeniger M
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2005 May; :3-4
Hand contamination by toxic compounds, such as lead, presents a potentially significant health hazard to workers if the contamination is transferred to the mouth by food, smoking, etc. One method to sample the mass of contamination on hands is to wipe the skin and analyze the wipe media. Three commercially available prewetted wipe media that are presently used include Palintest wipes, Wash & Dry wipes, and Ghost wipes. The Palintest and Wash&Dry media are made of cellulose fiber while the Ghost wipe is made of a nonwoven polyvinyl alcohol fiber. Because no objective determination of the performance or characteristics of these different wiping media were previously available, several practical aspects of these wipes were measured, such as size, tear resistance, wetness, and drying rate. A laboratory study was also performed to assess the recovery of lead oxide (PbO) dust from hands at two loading levels. Up to four successive wipes were taken during each hand wiping and analyzed individually. The results of this study indicate that only about 50% of the total lead loading is recovered with the first wipe but that up to 80% recovery could be obtained with three successive wipes. Precision was better when a composite sample of multiple consecutive wipes were taken, instead of only one. Ghost wipes contain about twice the moisture as the cellulosic wipes, even though the dry weight and size are approximately the same. The drying rate for each wipe media are essentially the same. Tear resistance, as measured in grams for a 1.24" strip of Wash & Dry, Palintest, and Ghost wipes were 381, 1469 and 1975, respectively. Abrasion resistance results paralleled tear resistance. The results of these performance measurements should be helpful for selecting wipe media for environmental and industrial hygiene surface and skin sampling.
Sampling; Lead-compounds; Lead-dust; Toxins; Toxic-effects; Health-hazards; Workers; Skin-tests; Laboratory-testing; Industrial-hygiene; Heavy-metals; Sampling-methods
7439-92-1; 1317-36-8
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division