Keeping Lead at Work

From JPCL, November 1996

By Greg M. Piacitelli and Elizabeth A. Whelan, PhD


by Greg M. Piacitelli and Elizabeth A. Whelan, PhD

Exposure to lead from construction work may not be limited to the job site. Workers can inadvertently carry lead home from work on clothes, skin, hair, and tools, and in their vehicles. These “para-occupational” or “takehome” exposures among workers’ families may cause lead poisoning in family members. This type of exposure is not a new problem. Holt cited 2 early studies of families of lead workers that were published in 1860 and 1896.1 Oliver reported in 1914 on lead poisoning in wives of house painters who washed their husbands’ overalls—observations that resulted in a series of laws in Great Britain to protect workers’ families from lead poisoning.2 ...
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