The effect of the OSHA lead exposure in construction standard on blood lead levels among iron workers employed in bridge rehabilitation.
Levin-SM; Goldberg-M; Doucette-JT
Am J Ind Med 1997 Mar; 31(3):303-309
The effect of the OSHA Lead in Construction Standard on blood lead (7439921) levels among iron workers employed in bridge rehabilitation was studied. Changes in baseline and maximum blood lead concentrations and in maximum increments in blood lead levels were analyzed in workers employed in the renovation of a large, lead painted, steel bridge in New York City. Blood specimens were collected and interviews were conducted with all workers active at the site. The study was initiated in February 1993 and concluded in December 1994, with blood lead testing done at 2 week intervals until October 1993, when testing frequency was reduced to monthly. Most provisions of the OSHA standard, designed to control exposure to lead in a construction setting, were in place by December 1993. Baseline and maximum blood lead concentrations fell significantly after implementation of the provisions of the standard. Seventy six percent of the workers maintained blood lead concentrations below 20 microgram/deciliter (microg/dl) after the OSHA standard, as compared with 66% prior to its implementation. Increments of 20microg/dl or more occurred significantly more frequently before the standard was introduced (13% before versus 4% after). Evidence of decreased exposure to lead was observed among iron workers who were present at this site both before and after the introduction of the OSHA standard, as well as among iron workers newly hired after the OSHA provisions were put in place. The authors conclude that the OSHA construction lead standard is effective in controlling exposure to lead in iron workers employed in structural steel rehabilitation. Blood lead monitoring is useful in assessing the outcome of industrial hygiene interventions designed to reduce lead exposures in the construction setting.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Neurotoxic-effects; Inorganic-lead; Lead-dust; Occupational-exposure; Industrial-hygiene; Exposure-levels; Blood-analysis; Construction-workers; Humans; Biological-monitoring;
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Neurotoxic Disorders; Neurotoxic-effects
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Center to Protect Workers' Rights, Washington, DC