Oregon Building with High Lead Levels Closed for Cleanup

Many of the wipe samples collected in the multi-use building in Salem had lead levels of many thousands of micrograms per square foot. One sample taken from the brewery floor was measured at 2,115.45 micrograms per square foot, and a windowsill in the brewery was measured at 6,127.44 micrograms per square foot.

After state authorities found lead levels significantly above federal standards, the owner of a multi-use commercial building in Salem, Ore., that once stored and finished batteries has closed in order for testing, inspection, and cleanup work to be done. State regulators confirmed lead dust levels on several interior surfaces were significantly above national health standards in the building at 576 Patterson St. NW, which contains at least six businesses.

The owner agreed to close it March 30 at the request of the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and Oregon Occupational Safety & Health, which had reviewed results of tests on dust wipe samples taken from more than 20 locations inside the building and determined the lead dust levels posed a public health threat; the owner "moved immediately to fence the entire facility and personally contact all business owners in the building to inform them of the closure," according to OR-OSHA. The affected businesses include a CrossFit gym with a small child care facility; a home renovation firm; a baseball training facility with indoor batting cages; a catering business; a roller skating rink; and storage and office space. And a microbrewery is under construction in the building.

EPA limits for lead levels at child care facilities are 40 micrograms per square foot on floors, 250 micrograms per square foot for windowsills, and 400 micrograms per square foot for window troughs -- many of the samples collected in the 576 Patterson building had lead levels of many thousands of micrograms per square foot—one sample taken from the brewery floor was measured at 2,115.45 micrograms per square foot. A windowsill in the brewery was measured at 6,127.44 micrograms per square foot, the agency reported, adding that the highest sample in the building was taken from an electrical panel in a batting cage, found at 188,636 micrograms per square foot, and one on a girder above a roller skating rink was 179,654 micrograms per square foot. Only one sample—on the CrossFit facility floor—measured less than 5 micrograms per square foot.

"Chronic, long-term exposure to lead is a serious concern. When we see levels of dangerous contaminants such as lead at extremely high levels that potentially endanger public health, our goal is to stop the source of the exposure," said Dr. Katrina Hedberg, M.D., state health officer at the OHA Public Health Division. "This is why we encouraged the building's owner to close immediately and, fortunately, the owner acted without delay."

She said there is no evidence of human illness related to exposures at the facility. DEQ plans to inspect the building in the coming days, and Oregon OSHA will work with the building owner to conduct air monitoring during and after the cleanup of the interior. OHA is encouraging anyone who is concerned about past lead exposure to see their health care providers and be screened for elevated blood lead levels.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • The 4 Stages of an Incident Investigation

    So, your workplace has just experienced an incident resulting in the injury or illness of a worker. Now what? OSHA recommends that you conduct investigations of workplace incidents using a four-step system.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

Free Whitepaper

Stand Your Ground: A Guide to Slip Resistance in Industrial Safety Footwear

This white paper helps to clarify this complexity, so you can better navigate the standards and better ensure the safety of your employees.

Download Now →

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2019

    November/December 2019

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      Redefining Compliance for the Gas Detection Buyer
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Don't Trip Over the Basics
    • VISION PROTECTION
      What to Look for in Head-to-Toe PPE Solutions
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Effective PPE for Flammable Dust
    View This Issue