Employees exposed to lead in Washington State nonconstruction workplaces: a starting point for hazard surveillance.
Nelson NA; Kaufman JD
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1998 Apr; 59(4):269-277
A survey of selected Washington state employers was carried out to (1) determine the number of employees working in lead-using businesses, (2) characterize processes and tasks where exposures occur, and (3) determine the number of employers familiar with the lead standard, lead health effects, and how exposures can be controlled. A total of 1822 nonconstruction employers likely to use lead were identified using Washington State Department of Labor and Industries files, telephone directories, Washington State Department of Ecology files, air sampling results from state workplace inspections, and the state's Adult Blood Lead Registry. A total of 89.5% of employers returned the mail questionnaire. Of 789 employers responding that they engaged in lead-using tasks, 45% stated they were aware there was an Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard for lead, 21% had done air sampling for lead, 17% had done blood-lead screening, and 76% reported some type of industrial hygiene measures to control exposures. The most commonly reported lead-using activities included soldering; auto repair; scrap metal handling; sanding; cutting or welding surfaces coated with leaded materials; painting with leaded paints; and radiator repair. A total of 18,970 nonconstruction workers (and 9416 construction workers) were estimated to be lead-exposed in Washington in 1995. Identification of potentially exposed workers through hazard surveillance and characterization of workplace knowledge and practices (through survey and the registry) has allowed the Department of Labor and Industries to target resources toward industries most in need of exposure reduction efforts.
Lead-absorption; Lead-compounds; Lead-fumes; Welding-industry; Workplace-studies; Risk-factors; Work-analysis; Work-operations; Work-practices
NA Nelson, NIOSH, Division of Safety Research, 1095 Willowdale Rd,MS-P-1133, Morgantown, WV 26505
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal