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Lead Awareness

Lead is one of the most common toxic elements found in industry and is a leading cause of workplace illness.

Lead is one of the most common toxic elements found in industry and is a leading cause of workplace illness with approximately 95% of all elevated blood lead levels reported among adults in the United States are work-related.

Lead poisoning can damage the brain, liver, kidneys, and red blood cells. It can also damage bones and cartilage, and harm the reproductive system.

When skin and eyes come in contact with lead dust, irritation can occur. Lead can enter the body by ingestion or inhalation.

Where lead is present over the action level, employers must provide the workforce with personal protective equipment (PPE) suitable for controlling the hazard.

Here are some of the ways you can protect yourself and workers against lead exposure:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as:
    • Gloves;
    • Safety glasses and face shield; and
  • Respiratory Protection
    • Respirators protect workers against oxygen enriched or deficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays.
  • Ventilation
    • Ventilation is one of the most important engineering controls available to the industrial hygienist for improving or maintaining the quality of the air in the occupational work environment. Broadly defined, ventilation is a method of controlling the environment with air flow.

Even a little lead poisoning can cause serious health problems, and at very high levels, it can be fatal.  So let’s protect ourselves and others by utilizing these safety measures.

Until next time, stay positive and stay safe.