It is the policy of The Ohio State University (OSU) to take precautions to eliminate potential hazards in the workplace. The purpose of the Lead Safety Program is to provide the hazards associated with lead and lead-containing materials; outline the steps to take to ensure employees who work with, or around lead are not exposed to hazardous levels of lead; and to provide procedures for common lead related work duties to minimize exposure in accordance
with the OSHA Lead Standard (29 CFR 1910.1025).
The primary use of lead in the U.S. is for automobile lead-acid storage batteries, a type of rechargeable electric battery which uses an almost pure lead alloy. Lead-formed alloys are typically found in pipes, cable covering, building material, solder, radiation shielding, and collapsible tubes. Lead is also used in ceramic glazes and as a stabilizer in plastics. Lead was used extensively as a corrosion inhibitor and pigment in paints but concerns over its
toxicity led the ban of lead in paint for residential and public buildings.
Lead enters the body primarily through inhalation and ingestion. Today, adults are mainly exposed to lead by breathing in lead-containing dust and fumes at work, or from hobbies that involve lead. Lead passes through the lungs into the blood where it can harm many of the body's organ systems. While inorganic lead does not readily enter the body through the skin, it can enter the body through accidental ingestion (eating, drinking, and smoking) via contaminated hands, clothing, and surfaces.
Workers may develop a variety of ailments, such as neurological effects, gastrointestinal effects, anemia, and kidney disease.
Online Lead Awareness Safety Training is available through the EHS Online Training Program