Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive (TRI)
by Joelie Zak, Scientific Control Labs, Inc.
Sources of Lead in Plating Shops
Q. Many job shops dont use lead content anodes, nor do they treat
lead-containing parts. Where should they expect to find any lead content in
Finding lead in job shops is actually quite common. Lead anodes are most
commonly used in chromium plating. Many job shops electroplate tin-lead or
just even just lead on parts. Lead can expected to be found in brass alloys
being processed, either polished or electroplated. Other types of alloys
such as certain types of stainless steel that may contain lead (even trace
amounts) that are being metal finished need to be considered as the lead may
leach during cleaning or acid dipping. Lead in welding and soldering
materials must be considered. Lead in batteries may need to be considered
for threshold determinations, as well.
The above list not exhaustive. I would recommend that a thorough evaluation
of all processes at your facility be conducted, regardless if your
facilities does any of the above. I would also look at the concentration of
lead in some of your wastestreams as this tends to indicate if any lead is
coming from the process.