Credit: 5 PDH
Course Fee: $75.00
Pure lead (Pb) is a heavy metal (at room temperature and pressure) and is a basic chemical element. It can combine with various other substances to form numerous lead compounds. When absorbed into the body in certain doses lead is toxic. It can be absorbed into the body by inhalation and ingestion. Except for certain organic lead compounds not covered by OSHA’s interim 1926.62 standard, lead is not absorbed significantly through the skin. When scattered through the air as a dust, fume, or mist, lead can be inhaled and absorbed through the lungs and upper respiratory tract. Inhalation of airborne lead is generally the most important source of occupational lead absorption. Lead also can be absorbed through the digestive system if it enters the mouth and is ingested.
The lead in construction standard requires employers to use, when feasible, engineering and work practice controls to reduce and maintain employee lead exposure to or below the PEL. When all feasible controls have been instituted but are not sufficient to reduce employee exposure to or below the PEL, they must be used to reduce exposure to the lowest feasible level and supplemented by respirators.
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Course Author: North Carolina Department of Labor