Concerns regarding Lead dust contamination
Cambridgeshire was home to our next project. Our client contacted us and instructed us to carry out an investigation to evaluate the extent of Lead dust contamination. The property we attended was a two storey building and belonged to the constabulary. The building layout consisted of a firing range, associated armoury, storage rooms, staff lockers rooms, cleaning storage rooms, ICT equipment storage rooms and cloth storage rooms on the basement level. On the ground floor there were numerous offices, meeting rooms, toilets and welfare facilities. On the first floor there were more offices and storage rooms.
Collecting samples for Lead dust
In order to collect samples for Lead dust, our surveyor required the help of Environmental Express Ghost wipes and SKC 80652A 100cm2 samples collection templates. These samples were all analysed by an accredited third party laboratory. For the purposes of our investigation lead concentration below 40µg/ft2 was considered as ‘not significant’ ; lead concentrations between 40-250µg/ft2 were considered ‘significant’ and lead concentration above 250µg/ft2 was considered as ‘significantly exceeded’.
All surface samples we collected in all but four rooms revealed that the concentration of lead dust was significantly exceeded. In two rooms on the first floor the concentration of lead dust was significant and in two rooms on the ground floor the concentration of lead dust was not significant.
Remediation measures to reduce exposure to lead contaminated dust
Our investigation indicated that any areas within the building where dust can accumulate over a significant period of time were likely to be significantly contaminated by lead dust.
Based on the results of our lead survey we were then able to recommend the following remediation measures in order to reduce exposure to lead contaminated dust. We strongly recommend that all surfaces within the building should be thoroughly decontaminated using the appropriate methods. The decontamination process should be carried out in all areas where dust is able to accumulate and be subsequently disturbed by the building occupants during normal use of maintenance activities. The areas to be contaminated should also include any horizontal surfaces for example; shelves, desks, window sills, door frames, window frames, chairs, ceiling tiles etc. All vertical surfaces such as doors and walls should also be decontaminated by wiping. The decontamination process should be done under controlled conditions, taking great care not to cause cross-contamination.