Health Risks of Lead Exposure
Occupational exposures to lead can occur in construction activities, such as plumbing system retrofits; the spraying, removal, or heating of paint that contains lead; and the welding, cutting, and grinding of lead-containing construction materials.
Occupational lead exposures can affect workers as well as family members and friends who come into contact with the “take -home” lead on the worker’s clothing, hair, hands, etc. The toxic effects of lead on the human body have been well documented and include damage to the kidneys, brain, and reproductive organs that, in turn, causes the loss of kidney function, sterility, decreased fertility, and birth defects and mental retardation in offspring.
Because of the serious, and in many cases, life-threatening health effects of lead, the employer must be thoroughly knowledgeable about the regulations to protect people from lead exposure before their employees engage in any work exposing them to lead. 1532.1