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An objective comparison of surface wipe media for sampling lead on hands.

Boeniger M
Occupational and Environmental Exposures of Skin to Chemicals, Stockholm, Sweden, June 12 -15, 2005. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2005 Jun; :1
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. Commercially available prewetted wipe media that are presently used for sampling lead include Palintest7 wipes, Wash'nDry7 wipes, and Ghost wipes. The Palintest and Wash'nDry media are made of cellulose fiber while the Ghost wipe is made of a nonwoven polyvinyl alcohol fiber. An ASTM test method E 1792 provides some specific minimum requirements and some nonspecific criteria that these media should meet. However, no objective determination of the performance or characteristics of these different wiping media were found in the open literature, and several practical aspects of these wipes were measured such as tear resistance, wetness, and drying rate which were not specified by E 1792. Also, a laboratory study was 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 52 - 62% of the total lead loading is recovered with the first wipe but that up to 75% recovery could be obtained with three successive wipes. Ghost wipes contain about twice the moisture as the cellulostic wipes, even though the dry weight and size are approximately the same. The drying rate for each wipe media are essentially the same, although the Ghost wipe lost the least amount of moisture in a three minute time period during which they were tested. 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 paralleled tear resistance with the two cellulostic wipes having less abrasion resistance than the Ghost wipe. The results of these performance measures should be helpful for selecting wipe media for environmental and industrial hygiene surface and skin sampling for lead be addressing these critical performance efficiencies.
Skin-tests; Skin-irritants; Skin-exposure; Skin-disorders; Skin-absorption; Absorption-rates; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Lead-poisoning; Lead-dust; Lead-absorption
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Occupational and Environmental Exposures of Skin to Chemicals, Stockholm, Sweden, June 12 -15, 2005
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division