Exposures to lead and other metals at an aircraft repair and flight school facility
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Exposures to lead and other metals at an aircraft repair and flight school facility

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      The health hazard evaluation (HHE) Program evaluated concerns about lead exposure at an aircraft repair and flight school facility. Single-engine aircraft at the facility use leaded aviation fuel which generates lead-containing particulates as a combustion byproduct. No one at the facility reported work-related symptoms. Lead was detected in blood samples collected from all facility personnel. The hangar area had the highest surface concentrations of lead; lead was also found on the steering wheel of an employee's car. All airborne concentrations of lead and other elements measured over a work shift were low. Airborne lead concentrations approached the occupational exposure limit for a short-term exposure when spark plugs were being sandblasted. There was no routine cleaning schedule in place for the hangar and a leaf blower was reportedly used to clear dust from surfaces. Lead dust was found on toys and a baby walker in the work area. Investigators also found that chemicals were improperly labeled and stored. HHE Program investigators recommended that the employer develop a respiratory protection program and require employees to use a respirator when sandblasting spark plugs. Wet cleaning methods, instead of dry cleaning methods, should be used to clean the hangar. Chemicals should be properly labeled and stored in closed containers within safety cabinets. The employer should provide employees with disposable shoe covers and on-site laundering for work clothes to reduce the potential for take-home lead contamination. Investigators also advised that children not be allowed in work areas. Employees were encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly before eating and drinking, before and after putting on gloves, and before leaving the facility. Recommended citation for this report: NIOSH [2013]. Health hazard evaluation report: exposures to lead and other metals at an aircraft repair and flight school facility. By Chen L, Eisenberg J. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH HETA Report No. 2012-0115- 3186. NIOSHTIC No 20042888 /2012-0115-3186.pdf
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