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Health hazard evaluation report: evaluation of employee exposure to lead and other chemicals at a police department.

Fent KW; Gibbins J; Niemeier T
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 2012-0083-3189, 2013 Jul; :1-27
The Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program evaluated employees' exposure to lead when working in the parking garage adjacent to the firing range of a police department. Lead was found on surfaces inside the parking garage; the firing range was identified as the main source of this contamination. Investigators determined that the firing range did not meet all of the ventilation design elements recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. When investigators interviewed employees they found that most employees reported health symptoms that they felt were related to or made worse by the workplace. One employee who reported headache, tiredness, and leg weakness and pain had a higher than normal blood lead level. A lack of ventilation in the property room where illicit drugs were stored was also of concern. Illicit drugs were found on some surfaces in the property room. Employees were also concerned about water intrusion and mold growth on the ceiling tiles in offices, but investigators did not find visual of water intrusion or mold growth. HHE Program investigators recommended that the firing range be redesigned to meet all recommended design elements or that another firing range be used. Officers should be provided with non-lead bullets and lead-free primer. If bullets or primer containing lead are used then investigators recommended collecting air samples. The results of this sampling will help determine which elements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lead standard need to be followed. Investigators also recommended that surfaces contaminated with lead or illicit drugs be properly cleaned. Change-out schedules for the air filters in the local exhaust ventilation systems and vacuum cleaners should be established and followed. HHE Program investigators recommended that employees wear nitrile gloves when cleaning guns, handling spent cartridge cases, and when working in the firing range or parking garage. Even when gloves are worn, hands should be cleaned with soap and water or with lead-decontamination wipes after firing weapons or doing other work that could result in exposure to lead. Investigators also recommended the use of nitrile gloves when employees handle illicit drug evidence or perform criminology procedures.
Region-5; Lead-compounds; Lead-dust; Law-enforcement; Law-enforcement-workers; Police-officers; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Employee-exposure; Work-environment; Worker-health; Health-surveys; Lead-absorption; Environmental-contamination; Equipment-design; Engineering; Exposure-assessment; Standards; Exhaust-ventilation; Indoor-air-pollution; Indoor-environmental-quality; Vacuum-cleaning-systems; Personal-protective-equipment; Gloves; Drugs; Hazardous-materials; Materials-handling; Acrylates; Author Keywords: Police Protection; lead; firing range; ventilation; noise; property room; evidence; illicit drugs; mold; indoor environmental quality; criminology procedures; fingerprint dusting; cyanoacrylate fuming
7439-92-1; 137-05-3
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
HETA-2012-0083-3189; M082013
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division