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Lead in construction: hazard alert.

The Center to Protect Workers' Rights
Silver Spring, MD: The Center to Protect Workers' Rights, 2004 Dec; :1-2
Old paint on metal bridges, process equipment, and buildings may contain lead. Construction workers are exposed to lead when metal structures are torn down, renovated, or repainted. When metal covered with lead paint is cut, sanded, heated, burned, or blasted with abrasives, lead gets into the air. Anyone near such work can get lead poisoning. The Hazards: Lead is toxic if you breathe or swallow it. It can cause severe anemia and prevent your producing healthy children. It can damage your kidneys, brain, and nervous system, too. The first signs of severe poisoning may be upset stomach (or cramps), weakness, joint pain, and/or being tired. (But lead can harm you even if you don't show these symptoms at first.) Protect Yourself: If you are stripping, sanding, heating, cutting, or otherwise disturbing a painted surface, or you are near such work, ask your employer if the paint contains lead. The OSHA lead standard says your employer must train you if you could be exposed to lead. (The standard is 29 CFR 1926.62.) Until you are sure there is no lead, act as if the paint contains lead. If the paint has lead (or may have lead), follow your employer's special procedures for this work. OSHA and some states have special rules for work on lead-coated surfaces. OSHA says an employer must first use engineering and work practice controls to reduce or prevent lead exposures.
Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-materials; Construction-workers; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Work-environment; Work-practices; Worker-health; Lead-absorption; Lead-compounds; Lead-dust; Lead-fumes; Lead-poisoning; Lead-production; Lead-smelting; Painters; Paints; Metal-compounds; Metal-dusts; Metal-poisoning; Metal-workers; Demolition-industry; Blood-analysis; Blood-sampling; Medical-monitoring; Abrasive-blasting; Shipyard-workers; Metalworking; Abrasive-grinding; Abrasives; Toxic-dose; Toxic-effects; Toxic-materials; Reproductive-hazards; Hazardous-materials; Kidney-damage; Nervous-system-disorders; Brain-damage; Standards; Regulations; Engineering-controls
Building and Construction Trades Dept., AFL-CIO: CPWR, Suite 1000, 8484 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Construction; Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Source Name
Lead in Construction: Hazard Alert
Performing Organization
CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Maryland
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division