Assessment of Arsenic Surface Contamination in a Museum Anthropology Department

During the present study, the authors assessed the potential arsenic (As) contamination of work surfaces, in order to improve upon the control strategy at an anthropological department in a large natural history museum. Work practices were observed and control strategy reviewed to inform an occupational hygiene assessment strategy utilising surface wipe sampling. A total of 35 sampling targets were identified, focusing on surfaces that receive high touch traffic, including workstations, artifact transport carts, and elevator buttons. Arsenic sampling and analysis were performed using the reference method: Occupational Safety and Health Administration ID-125G. The results showed that 4 of the sampling areas returned detectable levels of As, ranging from 0.052 to 0.350 íg/100cm. The authors concluded that the workplace observations and wipe sampling data enabled the development of recommendations to help to further reduce potential occupational exposure to As. Continuous reduction of surface contamination is prudent for known human carcinogens.

Authors: Gribovich, Andrey; Lacey, Steven; Franke, John; Hinkamp, David ;Full Source: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2013, 55(2), 164-167 (English) ;