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Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005-158, 2005 Sep; :1-4
Challenge: Bridge repair and maintenance activities, such as paint removal and drilling, can disturb lead-containing paint, which was once commonly used on steel structures. As a result, high blood lead levels have been found in workers in this field. Chronic exposure to high levels of lead can result in kidney and nerve damage. The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CDPH) wanted to take action and protect workers involved in bridge repair and maintenance. Approach: Working with a grant from the NIOSH Adult Blood Level Surveillance Program, the CDPH created the Connecticut Road Industry Surveillance Project (CRISP) to monitor and prevent lead poisoning among bridge construction workers. This innovative program required contractors bidding on state projects to include three key worker protection measures on their worksites: respiratory protection, on-site industrial hygiene monitoring, and centralized blood lead level monitoring and management. CRISP brought together numerous state agencies, labor unions, and NIOSH researchers. NIOSH industrial hygienists provided guidance on proper controls, such as warning signs for work areas, decontamination trailers, promoting hand washing and good hygiene. Impact: Over 2,000 workers employed by over 120 contractors had significantly lower blood lead levels compared to their counterparts in other states. Additionally, the number of new workers with elevated blood lead levels dropped from 21 % in 1992 to just 1 % in 1995. CRISP continues to be a successful model for other state and federal programs involved in bridge construction and repair.
Lead-absorption; Lead-compounds; Lead-dust; Lead-poisoning; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Liver-damage; Liver-disorders; Kidney-disorders; Kidney-damage; Road-construction; Painters
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DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005-158
NIOSH Division
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division