Lead, chromium, and cadmium exposure during abrasive blasting.


An evaluation of lead, cadmium, and chromium exposure was conducted during abrasive blasting of a steel bridge to remove paint in preparation for repainting. Airborne lead concentrations were measured at several locations inside the containment structure, as well as near the workers' breathing zones. Airborne cadmium and chromium were also measured in the containment area. Blood lead levels were monitored in each worker. Airborne lead and cadmium levels in containment exceeded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's permissible exposure limits by factors of 219 and 3.1, respectively. The use of supplied air-blasting helmets will not effectively reduce workers' lead exposure to the permissible exposure limits when airborne levels are as high as were measured in this study. Studies are needed to evaluate additional engineering controls and alternative paint removal methods. Evaluation of workers' exposure to lead and other hazardous metals is needed for projects involving abrasive blasting. Medical surveillance for cadmium and lead may be necessary for similar projects.


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@article{Conroy1996LeadCA, title={Lead, chromium, and cadmium exposure during abrasive blasting.}, author={Lorraine M Conroy and R M Menezes-Lindsay and Peter M. Sullivan and Salvatore Cali and Linda Forst}, journal={Archives of environmental health}, year={1996}, volume={51 2}, pages={95-9} }