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Re: Big Green: Exposure from lead-coated copper, experience with

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Reply-To: "Ariel Levy" <ALevy@sgh.com>
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We frequently work with lead-coated copper flashing materials (this is
not an uncommon material for this application), both in new construction
and in remedial work.  In my personal research, I have found little
evidence to suggest that rain run-off is a significant source of lead;
notwithstanding, there is also limited research and little evidence to
suggest that it is not.  Most lead research centers on the "acceptable"
levels of lead exposure, but not with direct correlation to water runoff
over lead-coated metals.  To keep in perspective, the article that you
site below references research conducted by the lead product
manufacturers, and not independent testing agencies.

In all likelihood, if the child's elevated lead levels are in fact a
result of the lead-coated flashings (my first inclination would be to
test the houshold tap water and paint), it is much more likely do to
direct contact and ingestion, rather than water run-off.

The best, and most effective way to prevent the child from direct
contact with the lead sheeting is to remove it and replace with
different flashing material (stainless steel, red copper, aluminum,
etc.).  Short of this, covering the material may limit exposure, and can
be done (we often do this, although typically for reasons other than
lead exposure), but may prove to be just as difficult and costly as
complete replacement.

As for abatement, this is routine, and there should be little concern
of exposure to those not directly involved in the work (there will be no
grinding or other similar work to produce airborn dusts.)  The
contractor charged with the duty of removal should be experienced in
similar work, and should follow all OSHA and local regulations and
guidlines for this type of work.

I would be more than happy to discuss this issue further with you.
Please feel free to give me a call, or respond to this email.

Ariel Levy, Senior Engineer
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.
41 Seyon Street
Building #1, Suite 500
Waltham, MA  02453
Direct:   781-907-9386
SGH:     781-907-9000
FAX:      781-907-9009


 >>> Lara Sutherland <sutherland@informinc.org> 8/13/2003 11:01:34 AM
I have been contacted by someone who has a situation where a condo
patio has lead-coated copper
flashing/sheeting on it, and a child in the household has elevated lead
levels. The identified
source is direct contact exposure to the lead-coated copper. If anyone
has any experience with
removing/remediating this type of situation, I could use your feedback.
Here are the pressing

         1. What is the best, most effective way to prevent the child
from direct contact with the
lead sheeting ?

         2. Does anyone know of any actual studies looking at lead
content of the rainwater running
off of lead-coated copper? An article at
http://www.professionalroofing.net/past/aug00/qa.asp claims
that the lead content of the rainwater is negligible compared to other
sources of lead, but it lists
no actual sources that I can look at.

Although they could put a latticework or other physical barrier over
most of the lead, there are
areas on the patio that will not be able to be blocked, such as at the
threshold under the door

Could the lead-coated copper be covered with a non-lead flashing? Has
anyone done this?

Does anyone know if removing the lead-coated copper will result in lead
exposure for the household,
such as when leaded paint is removed? Has anyone removed this stuff or
have information on ways to
protect the family during removal?

Any feedback or experience is appreciated.

Lara Sutherland
Senior Research Associate
Phone: 303-377-7048
Fax: 303-377-7049

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