NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Exposures to lead-based paint dust in an inner-city high school.

Decker J; Malkin R
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 19-23, 1997, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1997 May; :34
In response to concerns about lead-based paint (LBP) in a dilapidated 85-year-old high school, an evaluation was conducted to determine if a lead exposure hazard existed for school staff. Deteriorating LBP was present on walls and ceilings throughout the school. At the time of the evaluation, abatement of LBP had been completed in approximately one third of the school. One-hundred eighteen wipe samples for lead dust were collected from floors, teachers' desks, and interior window sills. Areas selected for sampling were based on the work location of the participants providing blood for lead analysis. Forty-five employees (50% of the staff) participated. Wipe samples from hands were collected from all participants. The geometric means (CMs) for lead dust loadings on sills in nonabated rooms (n=23) and abated rooms (n=16) were 342 and 103 ug/ft2, respectively. Nine sills in nonabated rooms and one sill in an abated room exceeded the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines (500 ug/ft2 lead), which were intended to protect infants and children in residential housing following lead hazard control work. The applicability of the HUD guidelines to schools has not been established. GMs for lead loadings on floors in nonabated rooms (n=26) and abated rooms (n=14) were 136 and 70 ug/ft2 Iead, respectively. Seventeen floor samples from nonabated rooms and 3 samples from abated rooms exceeded HUD guidelines (100 ug / ft2 Iead). The GMs for desktops in nonabated (n=23) and abated rooms (n=16) were 15.8 and 15.4 ug / ft2 Iead, respectively. All blood lead levels (BLLs) were low, ranging from 0.6-5.6 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL). The geometric mean BLL was 2.2 ug/dL, similar to that of the general U.S. population. The GM for lead on hands was 9 ug. Despite severely peeling LBP and significant lead dust loadings on surfaces, a hazard from LBP was not found for staff at the school. There were no relationships between surface lead and hand lead, BLL and abatement status of assigned work area, or BLL and hand lead.
Lead-dust; Lead-poisoning; Paints; Exposure-levels; Hazards; Sampling-methods; Dust-analysis; Dust-collection; Dust-exposure; Dust-inhalation; Dust-measurement; Dust-particles; Dust-sampling; Dusts; Blood-samples
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 19-23, 1997, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division