Reprinted from the Forest Products Laboratory.
It is well known that the lead contained in lead-based paint (LBP) can pose a serious human health risk if ingested. In our nationís building infrastructure, millions of meters of high quality salvageable lumber have been coated with LBP. The study presented in this and a companion paper investigated the feasibility of producing several standardized wood product profiles, including flooring, bevel siding, and paneling, from salvaged LBP-coated wood. This paper presents the results of an evaluation of worker and workplace exposure to lead during wood remilling operations. Approximately 2180 m (7,152 ft) of painted Douglas-fir drop siding salvaged from deconstructed U.S. Army barracks was evaluated. Results indicate that when properly sized and specified, commonly available woodworking machinery and dust collection systems can be used to safely profile, filter, and collect waste LBP shavings and dust from remachining operations. Lead exposure to workers in the vicinity of remanufacturing operations was found to be less than one-tenth that of the OSHA permissible exposure limit for indoor lead exposure. In addition, lead present on the produced wood product was found to be a fraction of that found on the original painted wood material.
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