Lead poisoning: Lead in the work place

Are you concerned about lead poisoning on the job?

The California Department of Health Services has launched a program to end workplace lead poisoning.

Why?

Lead poisoning in the workplace is entirely preventable and it still occurs...

What does lead poisoning mean to the people of California [as well as other states and countries]?

Overexposure to lead may cause serious health problems in California workers, including injury to the nervous system, reproductive system, kidneys, blood-forming system and digestive system.

Lead problems cost California's employers large amounts of money in lost work time, medical bills, workers'compensation claims, lawsuits, low productivity and poor employee morale.

The health of California's children and families suffers when lead from the workplace is brought home on workclothes and shoes.

These are some of the many jobs that can cause lead to be taken into the body:

  • A demolition worker who uses a torch to cut up a lead-painted storage tank
  • A smelter worker who breaks up old lead batteries for recycling
  • A house painter who sands and scrapes lead-based paint
  • A foundry worker who pours molten metal to make brass fittings
  • An electronics worker who solders printed circuit boards
  • A pottery worker who uses a glaze that contains lead
  • A radiator repair worker who solders radiators

Can lead poisoning be prevented?

Yes, it can!

But it needs a state-wide team effort similar to what it took to wipe out the polio problem of yesteryear. Part of this team is CDHS's (California Department of Health Services) Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Problem (OLPPP), which was created by legislation passed in 1991. OLPPP works with employers, workers, health professionals, labor unions, insurance companies, community organizations, local health agencies and CDHS's Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch.

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