Further studies using X-ray fluorescence to sample lead contaminated carpeted surfaces

Bridget N. Bero, Margrit C. von Braun, Charles R. Knowles, John E. Hammel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The sampling of carpeted surfaces to test for lead contamination primarily focuses upon vacuum techniques. Vacuum sampling techniques, however, require time-consuming, expensive laboratory analysis of the dusts obtained and are unable to determine total lead load on the carpet. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis is an on-site, inexpensive, non-destructive, quick technique for predicting metals levels in a variety of media, such as water, soil, filter paper and painted surfaces. A 1992 study of the feasibility of XRF to analyze for lead and soil loadings on carpeted surfaces indicated that XRF can detect lead at a low enough level to warrant further study. This paper expands this earlier study and developes lead and soil loading calibration curves for three different carpet types based upon XRF lead L-beta peak areas and XRF iron and barium K-alpha peak and background areas. Results indicate that variation in the data can be reduced through modifications of the XRF analysis technique, thus reducing the statistically determined detection level, and that carpet type does affect the calibration. Detection levels of approximately 70 mg/m2 for lead and 5 g/m2 for soil were obtained. Overall, good agreement was found between results of this study and the earlier one. XRF shows excellent potential for quantitative analysis of lead on carpeted surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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