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Relationship between lead levels on painted surfaces and percent lead in the particles aerosolized during lead abatement.

Choe KT; Trunov M; Menrath W; Succop P; Grinshpun SA
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2002 Aug; 17(8):573-579
Quantifying airborne lead on lead abatement work sites is critical in assessing worker lead exposures. Airborne lead levels depend on both the concentration of aerosolized particles and the percent lead in those particles. The lead level on the painted surface being abated may affect the percent lead in aerosolized particles. Experiments were performed in the University of Cincinnati Environmental Test Chamber (volume approximately 24.3 m3) using wood doors painted with lead-based paint. Three methods were used for paint removal: dry scraping, wet scraping, and dry machine sanding. Particles aerosolized during lead abatement activities were collected on filters using the Button Personal Inhalable Aerosol Samplers (SKC Inc., Eighty Four, PA) mounted in the workers' breathing zone. The filters were subsequently analyzed for percent lead in the particles. A portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument (NITON-700, NITON Inc., Bedford, MA) was used to measure surface lead levels of the doors. The accuracy of the XRF instrument was verified by testing standard reference materials prepared by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and by Princeton Gamma Tech Inc. It was also verified by relating XRF results from painted door surfaces to laboratory lead analysis data obtained from paint chip samples taken from the same painted surfaces (r2 = 0.81, p < 0.001). A highly significant relationship (r2 = 0.83, p < 0.001) was found between the XRF readings and the percent lead in the particles aerosolized during dry scraping. No significant relationship was found for wet scraping (r2 = 0.09, p = 0.56) or dry machine sanding (r2 = 0.002, p = 0.92). The relationship between surface lead levels and percent lead in particles was found to be dependent on the paint removal method. This variation was attributed to the difference in water absorption property of the paint layers and the different particle aerosolization mechanisms inherent in each paint removal method.
Lead-compounds; Lead-dust; Paints; Paint-removers; Air-contamination; Employee-exposure; Exposure-assessment; Aerosol-particles; Laboratory-testing; Exposure-chambers; Filters; Sampling-equipment; Analytical-instruments; Samplers; Breathing-zone; Aerosol-sampling; X-ray-fluorescence-analysis; Author Keywords: Lead Abatement; Lead-Based Paint; Airborne Particles; XRF; Percent Lead
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-CCT-510420; Grant-Number-T42-CCT-510520
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Performing Organization
University of Cincinnati
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division