Lead Paint Removal >> Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers

Field measurements using a tape measure of 12 of the cuts revealed that the paint was stripped back an average of 1.15 (range of 0.5 to 4.0 inches) inches from the cut line (based on 69 measurements taken). After hot cutting, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers burned paint provided visual evidence that stripping was insufficient (Figure 2). 

Visual observation and XRF measurements confirmed that eight of the 40 segments to be cut (the inside corner pieces) had not been stripped at all, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers since the XRF readings were no different from readings taken in the painted areas. The XRF was needed to confi rm lack ofstrip- ping since new primer paint had been applied,making it difficult to visually determine which areas had been stripped. 

Personal Sampling Results The eight-hour TWA lead exposure for day one was 3898 ¹g/M3 , Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers or 78 times the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 50 ¹g/M3 . The task-specifi c exposure level during hot cutting on day one was 11,271 ¹g/M3 (166-minute TWA); this involved cutting on both stripped and unstripped steel. 

The eight- hour TWA lead exposure on day two was 4027 ¹g/M3 (81 times the PEL). The task-specifi c exposure level when working on the stripped steel was 670 ¹g/M3 (91-minute TWA). In contrast, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers the exposure level when working on the unstripped steel in the corners was 30,000 ¹g/M3 (63-minute TWA) (Table I). 

Personal Protection Observations The ironworker was wearing a half- mask, air-purifying respirator with "pancake" style P-100 filters, welder's helmet, foam earplugs, and heavy welder's gloves (Figure 1). At the end of day two, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers small holes were found in the P-100 respirator pancake filters, apparently due to welding sparks. 

The filter material at the inhalation valve gasket was discolored on one of the filters. These holes and Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers the discoloration indicated at least partial failure of the filter. Discussion Air Sampling Results This was a very limited industrial hygiene survey in which a single iron- worker was monitored over two successive days of hot cutting on stripped steel. 

However, the survey illustrates that several factors may contribute to high lead exposures experienced by ironworkers. First, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers the so-called stripped areas may be stripped back significantly less than the Cal/OSHA required four inches on both sides of a cut line. Second, difficult to reach corners may not be stripped at all. 

If these results are typical of exposures to ironworkers working on bridges, then minimum respiratory protection should be half-mask, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers supplied-air respirators in positive-pressure mode, as initially required by the Lead in Construction Standard for highest exposure trigger tasks. 

The results of short-term lead exposure monitoring during hot cutting on stripped and Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers nonstripped areas indicate that hot work on .75-inch steel which has been stripped back only 1.15 inches from the cut line creates signifi cantly less exposure than work on unstripped steel (670 ¹g/M3 vs. 30,000 ¹g/M3 ). 

However, cutting of the stripped areas results in exposure levels that exceed the maximum use concentration (MUC) of the half-mask respirator that this iron- worker was wearing (MUC D 10 £ PEL), Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers if sustained over an eight-hour shift. Further studies are indicated to determine whether hot work on steel that is stripped back the required minimum of four inches reduces exposure to airborne levels less than the PEL. 

XRF Results The XRF was a useful tool for determining which areas were adequately stripped and Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers which were not. Visual observation, on the other hand, would have been inadequate in locating the unstripped corner areas identifi ed by the XRF, since these areas had been newly primed with the same gray primer (non lead-based) as the stripped areas. 

The XRF also detected that the lead was located primarily in the deepest (red- colored) original paint layers. The XRF was somewhat useful as a gross qualitative tool in determining which elements were present besides lead (iron and fiinc) and which elements were below its detection limit (arsenic, chromium, manganese, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers and nickel below a DL of 500 ppm; mercury below a DL of 100 ppm). 

Laboratory results for arsenic (<50 ppm) concurred with the XRF readings (<500 ppm). However, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers the laboratory analysis for chromium (1900 ppm) did not agree with the XRF reading (<500 ppm). This discrepancy casts some doubt on the usefulness of the XRF as a metals-screening tool. In addition, cadmium and beryllium could not be measured with this model XRF due to the interference from the cadmium radiation source. 

Respiratory Protection Inadequacies Hot work on bridges is often viewed incorrectly as a low-lead or nonlead activity, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers since industrial painters have supposedly stripped back the steel before the ironworkers arrive. In this instance, the ironworker had only a half-mask, air-purifying respirator available. 

Iron- workers performing hot work on structures with high concentrations of lead in the paint should be required to wear air supplied respirators in positive-pressure mode initially. Moreover, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers sparks may burn holes in respirator filters, reducing their effectiveness. Multi-Employer Challenges 

Lead exposure issues are magnified at a multi-employer worksite consisting of many layers; in this case, the state department of transportation, general contractor, painting subcontractor, and ironworker subcontractor. First, the government agency responsible for bridge repair may be reluctant to play a strong role in worker safety, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers fearing that intervening in contractor affairs makes them liable in the case of a third-party injury suit. 

Second, the general contractor, with overall responsibility for safety and health conditions at the worksite, may shortchange safety in the interest of production. Finally, Lead Paint Exposure To Iron Workers the ironworker, arriving on the site after the painters have left, may discover that the stripping is inadequate, but decide to complete the job anyway. Further, the ironworker may be an owner or operator, as in this survey, and may not be covered by OSHA regulations.

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