Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Lead exposures in radiator shops in a nine-county area of northwestern Oregon

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  • The primary objective of this study was to assess radiator repair shops' compliance with Oregon OSHA Lead and Hazard Communication regulations. Fifty radiator repair shops were randomly selected from nine counties that comprise the highest population density in Oregon. All 50 worksites were visited; of these 50 worksites, 22 were within the scope of the emphasis program and were inspected. Personal monitoring for lead exposure was performed in 19 of the 22 inspected sites. A total of 151 violations were cited during the 22 inspections, including 85 violations of the Lead Standard and 44 violations of the Hazard Communication Standard. Citations were issued at 21 of the 22 worksites. Thirty-two airborne lead exposures were measured for individual workers at the 19 worksites where air monitoring was performed (one worker used lead-free solder). Personal airborne lead exposures ranged from 6.2 to 236.8 micrograms/cubic meter. Mean airborne lead exposure was 76.7 micrograms/cubic meter. Core header cleaning appeared to be responsible for the high-end exposures. Ventilation approaches used by the lead monitored shops included general, canopy, capture and enclosure. Blood lead records at five of the lead-monitored shops revealed that blood lead measurements had never been performed for a total of eight workers. Of the 32 workers evaluated for airborne lead exposures, only 19 had received blood lead tests in the year prior to the inspection date. The mean blood lead level for these 19 workers was 34.7 micrograms/100grams whole blood. The highest blood lead level was 61 micrograms/100grams. Airborne lead exposures in radiator repair shops largely were controlled by ventilation design and personal work habits.
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