Machine Versus Man: Can Robotic Mops Clean to Lead Safety Standards?

J Environ Health. 2016 Sep;79(2):8-12.


This study compared the effectiveness of using a commercially available robotic mop versus hand mopping as the second step of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s recommended three-step vacuum–mop–vacuum process to remove lead dust debris from residential floors. A total of 1,703 floors were cleaned using the robotic mop. Lead dust wipe tests from these floors were compared with 995 lead dust wipe tests for floors cleaned with hand mopping. Analysis of the dust wipes showed that cleaning floors with a robotic mop resulted in a clearance failure rate significantly lower than that obtained by cleaning floors by hand (4.8% versus 10.0%; p < .05). The use of newer technologies like robotic mops can help improve the efficiency and thoroughness of floor-cleaning efforts, as well as decrease costs associated with re-cleaning floors following regulated renovations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Dust / analysis*
  • Environmental Pollutants* / analysis
  • Environmental Pollutants* / isolation & purification
  • Environmental Pollutants* / standards
  • Household Work / methods*
  • Housing / standards*
  • Humans
  • Lead Poisoning / prevention & control
  • Lead* / analysis
  • Lead* / isolation & purification
  • Lead* / standards
  • Robotics / instrumentation*


  • Dust
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Lead