Lead Paint Removal >> Painters Exposure To Lead Paint

The California Painters Project was a 2-year intervention research project aimed at preventing lead poisoning among a group of residential and commercial painters in San Francisco, Calif. As part of this project 12 contractors invited project staff to conduct employee Painters Exposure To Lead Paint exposure monitoring. 

Twenty-five full-shift samples were collected, Painters Exposure To Lead Paint with 8-hr TWA results ranging from 0.8 to 550 mg/m3 (arithmetic mean: 57 mg/m3 ). Six of the 25 samples (24%) were above the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit; all of these involved dry manual sanding or uncontrolled power sanding.   Fifty-eight 30-minute task-specific samples also were collected. The arithmetic mean concentration results for heat gun use, wet sanding, and Painters Exposure To Lead Paint open flame burning were all under 10 mg/m3 ; the mean concentration for HEPA exhausted power sanding was 33 mg/m3 ; dry manual scraping, 71 mg/m3 ; dry manual sanding, 420 mg/m3 ; and uncontrolled power sanding, 580 mg/m3 . 

Analysis and modeling based on the 30-min results for dry manual sanding and Painters Exposure To Lead Paint uncontrolled power sanding indicate that painters' full-shift exposures often exceed 500 mg/m3 and the OSHA assigned level of protection for a half-mask air-purifying respirator. These results are cause for concern because both of these surface preparation methods are widely performed wearing half-mask respirators. 

The data show that HEPA-exhausted power sanding reduces paint dust exposure levels by approximately 80 to 90%. These tools should be more widely promoted as a safer alternative work method. Keywords: lead exposure, painters, surface preparation, Painters Exposure To Lead Paint work methods. residential and commercial painters often spend a considerable amount of time and effort preparing exterior building surfaces for repainting. 

Surface preparation means sanding, scraping, burning, or otherwise removing old paint that is peeling or flaking and no longer intact. This ensures that the new primer and paint will form a durable, Painters Exposure To Lead Paint weather-resistant bond with the surface to which it is being applied. The amount of old paint removed during surface preparation depends on its condition, aesthetic considerations, and the project budget. 

In some areas the accumulated layers of paint may be completely removed, Painters Exposure To Lead Paint whereas in other areas the surface may receive only light sanding. The removal of lead paint that accompanies this work is highly irregular and completely incidental to the process of surface preparation. The exteriors of buildings constructed before 1980,(1) and in particular those built before 1950, frequently are coated with one or more layers of lead-containing paint. 

These buildings include single family dwellings, apartment buildings, schools, day care centers, offices, and retail and commercial establishments. Where lead paint is present, Painters Exposure To Lead Paint surface preparation work can produce significant amounts of lead paint dust or fume. Studies have shown that airborne lead levels in excess of 50 mg/m3 are generated by power sanding and grinding, dry manual sanding and scraping, heat gun use, and propane torch burning. 

Data on lead poisoning among residential and commercial painters are limited. In part this is because lead-poisoned workers may not exhibit overt symptoms, and Painters Exposure To Lead Paint blood lead testing is not widespread within the construction industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirement for blood lead testing in the construction industry did not become effective until 1993 (29 CFR §1926.62). 

Nevertheless, serious lead poisoning cases have been documented among house painters who conduct surface preparation without adequate protective measures. In a number of studies, sanding, scraping, burning, or Painters Exposure To Lead Paint sandblasting lead paint resulted in blood lead levels (BLLs) ranging from 70 to 600 mg/ dL. 

State blood lead registries also have identified painters with seriously elevated blood lead levels. A review of data from California's Occupational Blood Lead Registry from 1987 through 1989 showed that applying lead paint or Painters Exposure To Lead Paint removing it by scraping or sandblasting were the tasks associated with painters' elevated BLLs.(15) 

In Massachusetts, house and bridge painters comprised 36% of construction workers with BLLs exceeding 40 mg/dL, whereas deleaders, or residential lead abatement workers who use similar paint removal techniques, Painters Exposure To Lead Paint accounted for 60%.(16) This investigation was conducted as part of the California Painters Project, a 2-year intervention research project conducted by the Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in the California Department of Health Services from spring 1994 to fall 1995. 

The effort was to design, implement, and evaluate a multidimensional intervention strategy to prevent lead poisoning among a group of lead-exposed painters in the City and County of San Francisco, Calif. Twenty-one established, licensed, residential and Painters Exposure To Lead Paint commercial painting contractors voluntarily enrolled in this project; altogether, they employed 132 employees doing some surface preparation on pre-1980 buildings.(17) 

Airborne exposure monitoring was conducted as a service to participating contractors and to gather more Painters Exposure To Lead Paint information on residential and commercial painters' lead exposures. The 21 participating painting contractors were encouraged to invite project staff to conduct airborne exposure monitoring during surface preparation work on a pre-1980 building. 

Twelve contractors extended invitations, Painters Exposure To Lead Paint and exposure monitoring was conducted for 1 day at each of the 12 job sites during the summer and fall of 1994. The contractor selected the pre-1980 job site and the date of the monitoring. Prior to monitoring, project staff confirmed the presence of detectable lead content in the paint using a sodium rhodizinate colorimetric spot test. 

Full-Shift Airborne Lead Exposure Monitoring The full-shift personal sampling followed National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Method 7300 (Elements by ICP), Painters Exposure To Lead Paint using standard 0.8 mm mixed cellulose ester (MCE) filters.(18) The target airflow rate was 2 L/min. The sampling was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the OSHA Lead in Construction Standard. 

Laboratory analysis for lead was conducted by the Wisconsin Occupational Health Laboratory (WOHL), Painters Exposure To Lead Paint part of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. The WOHL was accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association Environmental Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELLAP) for lead in air analysis. 

The limit of quantitation (LOQ) at the target sample volume of 960 L was 0.5 mg/m3. Our project, although focused on an educational intervention effort, Painters Exposure To Lead Paint also created a forum that brought to light shortcomings in the public health and regulatory enforcement strategies for protecting workers and building occupants. 

Our interaction with contractors identified at times a lack of integration between various guidelines, regulations, and training requirements pertaining to lead poisoning prevention. Developing separate, and Painters Exposure To Lead Paint sometimes contradictory, regulations for worker, childhood, and environmental protections creates huge disincentives for contractors to be participants in this change process. 

The issue of lead poisoning prevention presents a unique opportunity to address a problem in an integrated public health approach or Painters Exposure To Lead Paint to have it spiral out into fragmented approaches that are piecemeal at best and ineffective at worst.

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