Comparison of sampling methods for lead in dust

You are here

Project Period: 
Project Investigator(s): 
SJ Reynolds, MI Selim, PS Thorne, Institute of Agricultural Medicine and Occupational Health, Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, The University of Iowa

Understanding the relationship between environmental exposure and blood lead concentration in children has been complicated by the lack of standardized sampling methodology. The specific goal of this project was to evaluate and compare three methods for sampling lead-containing dust on interior surfaces. Lead-containing dust at three different concentrations was generated in a cubic-meter chamber and uniformly deposited onto a variety of surfaces typically found in the home environment (painted wood, unpainted wood, varnished wood, linoleum, and carpet). Surface dust samples were collected using Whatman filter paper #42 wetted with distilled water (OSHA method), commercial wipes with a non-alcohol wetting agent (the wipe method recommended by HUD for dust clearance after lead abatement), and a vacuum filter method using cellulose acetate filters in 35 mm cassettes at a flow rate of 2 Lpm (vacuum method). Results showed on most surfaces (painted wood, unpainted wood, varnished wood and linoleum) the recovery of the HUD method was significantly higher than the vacuum method and the OSHA method. On carpet, the recovery using the vacuum method was significantly higher. For all wipe sampling methods the recovery depends on the surface characteristics.


Reynolds SJ; Laboratory Comparison of Vacuum, OSHA, and HUD Sampling Methods for Lead in Household Dust. American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. 1997; 58(6): 439-446

Etre LA, Reynolds SJ, Burmeister LF, Whitten PS, Gergely R; An evaluation of the effectiveness of lead paint hazard reduction when conducted by homeowners and landlords. Applied Occupational & Environmental Hygiene. 1999; 14(8):522-529