Exposures to lead-based paint dust in an inner-city high school.
In response to concerns about lead-based paint (LBP) in an 85-year old high school, an evaluation was conducted to determine whether a lead exposure hazard existed for adult 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 45 participants providing blood for lead analysis. Wipe samples from hands were collected from all participants. The geometric means (GMs) for lead dust loadings on sills in unabated rooms (n = 23) and abated rooms (n = 16) were 342 and 102 micrograms/ft2, respectively. Nine sills in unabated rooms and one sill in an abated room exceeded the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines (500 micrograms/ft2 lead) for residential housing following abatement activity. GMs for lead loadings on floors in unabated rooms (n = 26) and abated rooms (n = 14) were 136 and 70 micrograms/ft2 lead, respectively. Seventeen floor samples from unabated rooms and 3 samples from abated rooms exceeded HUD guidelines (100 micrograms/ft2 lead). The GM blood lead level (BLL) was 2.2 micrograms/dL (range: 0.6-5.6 micrograms/dL), similar to that of the general U.S. population. Despite peeling LBP and significant lead dust loadings, 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.
Decker, JA; Malkin, R; Kiefer, M
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