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Lead and other heavy metals in dust fall from single-family housing demolition.
Jacobs DE; Cali S; Welch A; Catalin B; Dixon SL; Evens A; Mucha AP; Vahl N; Erdal S; Bartlett J
Public Health Rep 2013 Nov-Dec; 128(6):454-462
OBJECTIVE: We measured lead and other heavy metals in dust during older housing demolition and effectiveness of dust suppression. METHODS: We used American Public Housing Association Method 502 and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Methods SW3050B and SW6020 at 97 single-family housing demolition events with intermittent (or no) use of water to suppress dust at perimeter, non-perimeter, and locations without demolition, with nested mixed modeling and tobit modeling with left censoring. RESULTS: The geometric mean (GM) lead dust fall during demolition was 6.01 micrograms of lead per square foot per hour (µg Pb/ft(2)/hour). GM lead dust fall was 14.18 µg Pb/ft(2)/hour without dust suppression, but declined to 5.48 µg Pb/ft(2)/hour (p=0.057) when buildings and debris were wetted. Significant predictors included distance, wind direction, and main street location. At 400 feet, lead dust fall was not significantly different from background. GM lead concentration at demolition (2,406 parts per million [ppm]) was significantly greater than background (GM=579 ppm, p=0.05). Arsenic, chromium, copper, iron, and manganese demolition dust fall was significantly higher than background (p<0.001). Demolition of approximately 400 old housing units elsewhere with more dust suppression was only 0.25 µg Pb/ft(2)/hour. CONCLUSIONS: Lead dust suppression is feasible and important in single-family housing demolition where distances between houses are smaller and community exposures are higher. Neighbor notification should be expanded to at least 400 feet away from single-family housing demolition, not just adjacent properties. Further research is needed on effects of distance, potential water contamination, occupational exposures, and water application.
Demolition-industry; Lead-compounds; Lead-dust; Heavy-metals; Dust-exposure; Dust-suppression; Dust-control; Dust-control-equipment; Dust-measurement; Analytical-models; Analytical-methods; Arsenic-compounds; Copper-compounds; Copper-dust; Chromium-compounds; Iron-compounds; Manganese-compounds; Metal-compounds; Metal-dusts; Metals; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-exposure; Dust-analysis
David E. Jacobs, PhD, CIH, National Center for Healthy Housing, 5025 Hawthorne Pl. NW, Washington, DC 20016
7439-92-1; 7440-38-2; 7440-50-8; 7440-47-3; 7439-89-6; 7439-96-5
Issue of Publication
Public Health Reports
IL; MD; DC
University of Illinois at Chicago
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division