Use of field-portable X-ray fluorescence (FPXRF) analyzer to measure airborne lead levels in Korean workplaces

Nam Soo Kim, Jin Ho Kim, Kyu Dong Ahn, Byung Kook Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated the possibility of applying field-portable x-ray fluorescence (FPXRF) analysis as a rapid, on-site and near real-time method for evaluating airborne lead contamination in Korean workplaces. A total of 287 airborne lead filter samples were measured in 12 lead-using workplaces during routine industrial hygienic monitoring procedures as required by Korean government regulations. All filter samples were collected using the standard industrial hygiene sampling protocol described in NIOSH Method 7300 using closed-face 37-mm cassettes with preloaded cellulose ester membrane filters with a pore size of 0.8 μm. The samples were first analyzed using the nondestructive, FPXRF analytical method (NIOSH method 7702), and then subsequently analyzed using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometry (ICP) (NIOSH method 7300) as a reference analytical method. Pair-wise comparison of filter samples using the paired t-test revealed no statistically significant differences between the two methods over a wide range of airborne lead levels (0.018-0.201 μg/m3) either over the industries assessed or separately in the 12 lead-using workplaces. Linear regression of the data between the ICP and FPXRF methods produced a slope of 1.03, a y-intercept of 0.13 μg/sample, and a coefficient of determinant (r2) of 0.975 for all the data. For samples in the range from 0 to 100 ?g, the corresponding values were 1.07, -1.20 ?g/sample, and 0.925, respectively. There were no significant differences in the regression analyses of the three industry types (r2=0.964-0.982). Our data suggest that FPXRF data are highly correlated with those from the laboratory-based ICP method in terms of accuracy, precision, and bias. Therefore, FPXRF can be used for the rapid, on-site analysis of lead air-filter samples for values up to 26 μg/sample prior to laboratory confirmation by the ICP method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Occupational Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • FPXRF (field-portable x-ray fluorescence)
  • ICP (inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometry)
  • Lead

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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