Metal Fume and Dust Sampling – Assessing Heavy Industry for Toxic Metals

Insight IH Consulting has significant experience in performing metal fume and dust sampling for a variety of industries. Our experience includes foundries, manufacturers, and secondary smelters.

Toxic metals, including “heavy metals,” are individual metals and metal compounds that negatively affect people’s health.  They may build up in biological systems and become a significant health hazard.


Common sources of exposure to higher-than-average levels of arsenic include near or in hazardous waste sites and areas with high levels naturally occurring in soil, rocks, and water. Exposure to high levels of arsenic can cause death.

Metal ore piece containing beryllium
Electrical circuit boards potentially containing beryllium and other metals
Electronic components
Inorganic arsenic warning sign cancer

1910.1018 – Inorganic arsenic.


The element beryllium (Be) is a grey metal that is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum. It has physical properties of great strength-to-weight, high melting point, excellent thermal stability and conductivity, reflectivity, and transparency to X-rays.  The greatest use is in alloys for aerospace (Beralcast, Be-Al), non-magnetic/sparking tools (Cu-Be), circuit boards (Cu-Be), and as electrical insulators (Beryllium Oxide) in high-speed computers, lasers, and microwave ovens.

Beryllium copper alloy wrench for use in non-sparking environments
Picture of electrical insulator containing beryllium oxide
Danger sign warning of exposure hazards of beryllium metal

1910.1024 – Beryllium.


Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal commonly found in industrial workplaces, particularly where any ore is being processed or smelted. Several deaths from acute exposure have occurred among welders who have unsuspectingly welded on cadmium-containing alloys or with silver solders.

Bolts that are coated with cadmium that become an exposure hazard when cut or grinded
Nickel cadmium battery that is a common source of contamination during manufacturing and recycling
Danger sign showing warnings related to cadmium exposure hazard

1910.1027 – Cadmium


Occupational exposure to lead is one of the most prevalent over exposures. Industries with high potential exposures include construction work, most smelter operations, radiator repair shops, and firing ranges.

Picture of lead containing paint on a bridge that creates exposure concerns
lead acid battery
Danger sign of lead work area exposure concerns

1910.1025 – Lead.

Insight IH Consulting has extensive experience in assisting facilities in compliance for these OSHA standard metals. 

Contact us for assessment assistance for metals at your facility today!