Prior to performing painting projects on bridges and for projects which involve the removal of painted components including complete bridge replacements, paint scrape samples are collected and analyzed for lead and chromium content. Paint systems previously applied to bridges in Iowa have the potential to contain hazardous levels of these two metals.
Whenever possible staff from the regulated materials section collects paint scrape samples in conjunction with bridge asbestos inspections. Samples are collected from all metal bridge components including but not limited to girders, beams, bearings, pier casings, handrails, and expansion plates. Because different structural components on a bridge have been found to be coated with different paint systems, samples from each type of structural component is necessary.
Project plan notes are updated with the findings of the sampling so contractors are aware of the results. The DOT’s standard specifications require the proper handling and disposal of paint and painted components removed as part of bridge projects.