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Lead Awareness. University of Maryland Department of Environmental Safety. Martin Wizorek, Manager – Occupational Safety and Health. INTRODUCTION. What is Lead?. Heavy metal at room temperature Bluish-gray Low melting point Pliable Corrosion resistant Can form lead compounds.

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lead awareness

Lead Awareness

University of Maryland

Department of Environmental Safety

Martin Wizorek, Manager – Occupational Safety and Health

what is lead
What is Lead?
  • Heavy metal at room temperature
  • Bluish-gray
  • Low melting point
  • Pliable
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Can form lead compounds
in what products was lead commonly used
In what products was lead commonly used?
  • Gasoline (phase-out began 1980)
  • Smelting
  • Lead batteries (25-78% of all lead used in U.S.)
  • Paints and coatings
  • Solder
  • Auto manufacturing
  • Printing
  • Late 1950’s – Paint manufacturers started to voluntarily reduced lead content of most paint for residential use.
  • 1978 – CPSC limits paint for residential use to 600 ppm (essentially, lead-free paint).
  • However, lead paint for non-residential use is still sold.
so where is lead paint found
So where is lead paint found?
  • Homes built before 1950
    • Everywhere – inside and outside (all coatings)
  • Homes built between 1950-1960
    • Probably outside, may be inside
    • Trims, doors, windows, kitchens, bathrooms, etc.
  • Homes built between 1960-1978
    • May be outside, less likely inside

***Before 1978 we assume lead!!!

what is lead paint
What is “lead paint”
  • EPA/HUD/DHS Definition

1.0 mg/cm2 5000 ppm 0.5%

  • Maryland Definition

0.7 mg/cm2

  • OSHA and MOSH Definition

Any detectable amount

buildings on campus year built11
Buildings on Campus & Year Built

Altogether, there are 169 numbered buildings on campus that were constructed prior to 1979.

ways in which lead enters the body
Ways in which lead enters the body
  • Inhalation - Breathing lead fumes or dust. This is the most common route of entry in the workplace.
  • Ingestion - Swallowing lead dust via food, cigarettes etc.
health effects
Health Effects
  • Lead which is inhaled or ingested gets into the bloodstream.
  • Can be circulated throughout your body.
health effects26
Health Effects
  • Some is excreted while some remains in organs and body tissues.
  • If exposure continues, the amount stored in your body will increase if you are absorbing more lead than your body is excreting.
chronic health effects
Chronic Health Effects

During prolonged chronic exposure, many body systems can be affected by lead, including:

  • Brain
  • Kidneys
  • Muscles
  • Bones
  • Blood forming organs
  • Reproductive systems 
chronic health effects resulting from high lead exposure and absorption into body
Chronic Health Effects(Resulting from High Lead Exposure and Absorption Into Body)
  • Severe damage to blood forming, nervous, urinary and reproductive systems
  • Loss of appetite, metallic taste in the mouth, anxiety, constipation, nausea, pallor, excessive tiredness, weakness, insomnia, headache, nervous irritability, muscle and joint pain or soreness, fine tremors, numbness, dizziness, hyperactivity and colic (with severe abdominal pain, lead line
  • Person is easily irritated and may become aggressive
chronic health effects29
Chronic Health Effects
  • Reproductive systems of both men and women may be affected
    • Decreased sex drive, impotence and sterility in men
    • Miscarriage and stillbirth in women whose husbands were exposed to lead or where they were exposed
chronic health effects30
Chronic Health Effects
  • Children born of parents who were exposed to excessive lead are more likely to have birth defects, mental retardation, behavioral disorders or die during the first year of childhood
other chronic health effects
Other Chronic Health Effects


  • Lead exposure has been consistently associated with increases in blood pressure in studies conducted in both workers and the general population.
  • Blood lead levels of less than 20 μg/dL sometimes are associated with increases in blood pressure.
other chronic health effects32
Other Chronic Health Effects

Decreased kidney function

  • Low to moderate levels of lead exposure also have been associated with adverse changes in kidney function.
  • This association may be even worse in people who have other risk factors for kidney disease, such as hypertension or diabetes.
acute health effects
Acute Health Effects
  • Acute health effects only appear when worker is exposed to extremely high amounts of lead
  • Acute encephalopathy (disorder or disease of the brain) may develop quickly followed by seizures, coma and death from cardio-respiratory arrest
  • Again, highly unusual, but not impossible

"The Dangles" was an occupational hazard for printers


lead identification
Lead Identification
  • Department personnel should contact the Department of Environmental Safety (DES) prior to the disturbance of painted surfaces unless it is known with certainty, either through documentation or testing, that the surface does not contain lead
lead identification37
Lead Identification
  • DES will use direct reading instrument (XRF) to determine if lead is present in any of the surfaces to be modified or demolished.
how is lead exposure measured
How is lead exposure measured?
  • PEL:  You are allowed to be exposed up to the Permissible Exposure Limit established by OSHA of 50 ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air) based on an 8-hour time weighted average.
  • Action Level: OSHA established an Action Level of 30 μg/m3 based on an 8 hour time weighted average. 
the all important action level
The All-ImportantAction Level
  • If lead is present in any quantity in your workplace, OSHA has directed that an “initial determination” must be made by taking air samples while workers are performing their job that may result in airborne lead exposure
  • The AL for lead is 30 µg/m3.
  • If the results are below the AL, no further monitoring is necessary for that job, and the workers are not considered to be significantly lead exposed.
  • Based on the results, typical maintenance tasks would not result in exposures above the AL.
  • Some activities, such as power sanding on painted surfaces, resulted in short-term exposures. However, these short-term exposures were still below the PEL.
awareness of lead standard
Awareness of Lead Standard
  • OSHA Regulations state:

Where there is a potential exposure to airborne lead at any level, the employee must be informed of the contents of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1025, Appendix A & B.

  • Because you may be exposed to lead, even in small quantities, the next three slides describe the contents of Appendix A & B
appendix a
Appendix A
  • Substance Identification
  • Health Hazard Data
appendix b
Appendix B
  • Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)
  • Exposure Monitoring
  • Methods of Compliance
  • Respiratory Protection
  • Personal protective Equipment
  • Housekeeping
  • Hygiene Facilities
appendix b45
Appendix B
  • Medical Surveillance
  • Medical Removal
  • Training and Information
  • Signs
  • Record keeping
lead medical surveillance
Lead Medical Surveillance
  • OSHA standards require biological monitoring and medical surveillance for all employees exposed to levels of lead above the action level of 30 µg/m3 for more than 30 days per year
  • The blood lead level of all employees who are exposed to lead above the action level is to be determined at least every six months.
  • The frequency is increased to every two months for employees whose last blood lead level was above 40 µg/100 g
health protection medical surveillance
Health Protection/Medical Surveillance
  • Obtain a Blood Lead Level (BLL)
  • Maintain blood lead levels to below 40 micrograms per 100 grams of whole blood (40 µg/100g).
  • Recommend a level below 30 µg/100g for workers who intend to have children
  • Blood lead measurements show the amount of lead circulating, but not the amount stored in tissue.
lead medical examination
Lead Medical Examination
  • A medical examination is given to lead workers:
    • Annually
    • Immediately, if an employee has developed signs or symptoms commonly associated with lead poisoning
    • Whenever an employee desires medical advice regarding lead exposure and the ability to procreate a healthy child
    • Immediately if the employee has demonstrated difficulty in breathing during a respirator fitting test or during respirator use
lead poisoning prevention for the non lead worker
Lead Poisoning Prevention(For the Non-Lead Worker)
  • Minimizing exposure to lead is the key to minimizing health effects
housekeeping work practices
Housekeeping/Work Practices

When working with products that contain lead, such as lead-based paints and lead blocks:

  • Use exhaust ventilation to capture dust/fumes whenever possible;
  • HEPA vacuum dust-covered work surfaces; dry sweeping or compressed air is prohibited; wet methods may be used;
  • Do not eat, drink, smoke or apply cosmetics in areas where lead/lead dust is present;
  • Wash hands and face after lead work;
  • Wear protective clothing to avoid getting dust on your clothes and then bringing it home to spouse and children.
lead dust control
Lead Dust Control
  • Recommend that HEPA vacuum be used to pick up lead paint of other lead dust.
lead dust control53
You must use caution if you perform any of the following activities where lead containing coatings or paint are present

It would be a good idea to coordinate these activities with DES to assure lead exposure is controlled

manual demolition of structures

manual scraping

manual sanding

heat gun applications

power tool cleaning

rivet busting



torch burning

abrasive blasting

cleanup activities where dry expendable abrasives are used

abrasive blasting enclosure movement and removal

Lead Dust Control
prohibited lead removal methods
Prohibited Lead Removal Methods
  • The contractor performing abatement of lead-based paint may not use the following methods to remove the paint:
    • Open flame burning
    • Dry sanding (unless used with a HEPA vacuum)
    • Open abrasive blasting
    • Uncontained hydro-blasting
    • Methylene chloride for interior use (exception, methylene chloride may be used in interior work areas for localized touch-up)
    • Dry scraping
    • Heat gun operating at or above 1,100°F
approved lead control methods
Approved Lead Control Methods
  • Wet scraping
  • Chemical stripping
  • Heat Gun
approved lead control methods56
Approved Lead Control Methods
  • Replacement
    • Any component part of a building may be abated by replacement with a part free of lead-containing substances
      • For instance, the lead-painted component (such as a doorframe or a window frame) is removed entirely and in one piece.
could i find lead outside of campus
Could I find lead outside of campus?
  • If your home was built before 1978, it may contain lead based paint. 
  • Hobbies: stained glass, home remodeling or painting, recreational target shooting, melting lead for fishing weights, lead glaze in ceramics.
  • Non-occupational exposures: backyard scrap metal recycling, leaded crystal tableware, cookware, folk remedies, pica, mine tailings, beauty products (eye make up, certain hair dyes).