Could Your Job Expose You to Lead Poisoning Exposure Risks?
EMSL Analytical provides environmental lead testing services to identify exposure risks in commercial, institutional and residential settings.
Cinnaminson, NJ, March 7th, 2016
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), while many people worry about lead in their home or in the environment, for some employees the workplace may offer the greatest potential for exposure.
Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can be combined with other metals to produce alloys. Lead and lead alloys are used to make a number of products, including batteries, ammunition and other metal products. In the past, lead was also used regularly in fuel, paint, ceramics, caulk, pipes and solder among other materials.
“Due to potential health issues caused by exposure to lead, the amount of lead used in many products today has lessened or in some circumstances has been replaced by other materials,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “However; though used less often, NIOSH reports that lead is still common in many industries ranging from construction and mining to manufacturing. In these and other industries, workers can be at risk of being exposed to lead by breathing it, ingesting it or coming in contact with it.”
NIOSH provides the following information for workers about how lead exposure can occur:
- Workers can be exposed by breathing-in lead fumes or lead dust. Lead fumes are produced during metal processing, when metal is being heated or soldered. Lead dust is produced when metal is being cut or when lead paint is sanded or removed. Lead fumes and lead dust do not have an odor, so workers may not know they are being exposed.
- Lead dust can settle on food, water, clothes and other objects. If a worker eats, drinks or smokes in areas where lead is being processed or stored, they could ingest it. Not washing one’s hands before eating or touching one’s mouth are also ways it could be ingested.
- Workers can also be exposed by coming into contact with lead dust. Some studies have found lead can be absorbed through skin. Workers that handle lead and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth, could be exposed. Lead dust can also get on clothes and hair. If this happens, it is possible that a worker could track home some of the lead dust, which may also expose their family.
For those concerned about the potential presence of lead in their work environment or home, EMSL offers testing services for dust, bulk and water samples. They even provide a consumer-friendly Lead in Paint & Dust Test Kit and a Drinking Water Test Kit that can be found at www.EMSLTestKits.com. EMSL also recently sponsored an online video about lead exposure risks in the work environment that can be seen at https://youtu.be/9Xcns9ZY_bo.
To learn more about lead or other indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality, consumer product and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.