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A comparison of X-ray fluorescence and wet chemical analysis of air filter samples from a bronze foundry.

Harper M; Pacolay B; Andrew M
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2005 May; :4
Lead is commonly added to bronze to improve casting. Personal samples for exposure to airborne lead in the presence of copper, iron and zinc were taken at a bronze casting foundry. Samplers used were the closed-face 37-mm plastic filter cassette, the 37-mm GSP sampler, the 25-mm Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) inhalable sampler, the 25-mm Button sampler, and the open-face 25-mm plastic cassette. Filters were analyzed with a portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer and then were analyzed by traditional chemical methods. The 25-mm filters needed only a single XRF reading, while three readings were taken across the 37-mm filters. For lead, all five samplers gave good correlations (r2 > 0.80) between the two analytical methods over the entire range of found mass, encompassing the OSHA action level and permissible exposure limit. The 25-mm filter samples exhibited a negative bias, and the results were adjusted accordingly. A similar bias was found for copper, but not for iron or zinc. However, correction did not greatly affect the overall percentage of samples where the XRF result was within 25% of the chemical analysis result. After correction, this criterion was met by 90% of the Button samples and 97% of the IOM samples. The 25-mm cassette results did not achieve the criterion even with correction. XRF analyses from the GSP sampler were within 25% of the chemical analysis for 93.5% of the samples using either the middle reading only or the average of all three readings, in both cases without correction. After removal of outliers, the calculated uncertainty was acceptable for the GSP sampler results, and for the corrected IOM and Button sampler results. The 37-mm cassette using the NIOSH algorithm had only 64.5% of XRF analyses within 25% of the chemical analysis, with a positive bias in line with other studies.
X-ray-fluorescence-analysis; X-ray-analysis; Chemical-analysis; Air-filters; Air-samples; Air-sampling; Foundries; Lead-compounds; Sampling; Exposure-levels; Airborne-particles; Airborne-dusts; Samplers; Filters; Filtration; Analytical-methods; Exposure-limits; Heavy-metals
7439-92-1; 7440-50-8; 7439-89-6; 7440-66-6
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 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division