This paper provides guidance on the assessment, evaluation and control of occupational exposure to inorganic lead and its commonly encountered compounds, with an emphasis on recommending a health-based occupational exposure guidance value.
This 2009 paper was compiled to give guidance on the assessment, evaluation and control of occupational exposure to inorganic lead and its commonly encountered compounds, with an emphasis on recommending a health-based occupational exposure guidance value.
The AIOH believes blood lead (PbB) should be used as the primary indicator of exposure to both airborne lead as well as ingestion sources (e.g. eating and smoking). Air monitoring should be considered complementary to trigger PbB monitoring and to evaluate the effectiveness of controls for airborne lead. To reduce potential exposure to airborne lead, an exposure guidance value of 0.03 mg/m3 (TWA) is recommended. Where there is potential for lead in air to exceed 0.03 mg/m3, or where a risk assessment indicates a need, a PbB monitoring program is required. Health risk relative to the recommended 0.03 mg/m3 guidance value and the need for controls and health surveillance should be determined by a Certified Occupational Hygienist (COH®) applying the approaches detailed in ‘Occupational Hygiene Monitoring and Compliance Strategies’ published by the AIOH.
The AIOH agrees with SWA, that where there is a potential for males / females and females (of reproductive capacity) to reach PbB levels of ≥ 20 μg/dL and ≥ 5 μg/dL respectively, a system should be implemented to manage and control exposures. A transfer level of ≥ 30 μg/dL and ≥ 10 μg/dL should be implemented to transfer males / females (not of reproductive capacity) and females (of reproductive capacity) respectively to a non-lead risk job. The AIOH however, believes, that worker PbB levels can be maintained at less than 10 µg/dL where there is strict adherence to a range of controls as listed above.
AIOH Exposure Standards Committee
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