OSHA Lead Paint Testing – Exposure Assessment

Did you know Southeast Lead Consultants provides OSHA compliant lead testing and assessments for OSHA purposes.  With our XRF analyzers we can ensure your worker protection plan is thorough and protects the company and the workers.   Here is a review for Lead in Construction for OSHA

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


In 1993, in response to a statutory mandate (Sections 1031 and 1032 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, Pub.L. 102-550), OSHA promulgated the Lead in Construction standard (29 CFR 1926.62) as an interim final rule. Elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) can produce irreversible adverse health effects, and studies had shown lead disease in construction employees. The goal of the standard is to protect construction employees from lead-related diseases, which can result from exposure to lead dust or fumes.

Construction employees are exposed to lead primarily when they remove lead-based paint (LBP) from structural steel bridges or buildings, engage in demolition of structures with LBP, engage in the removal of lead from buildings, or prepare some old buildings for painting. A relatively small number of construction employees are exposed to lead when using molten lead to seal cables, lead-containing mortar, lead sheeting, repairing old plumbing, and performing work on older structures, as well as on shielding for ionizing radiation, radioactive materials, and X-rays. In 1978, LBP was banned for use on residences or other buildings where consumers could be exposed; industrial use of LBP was phased out in the same period. Lead solder for water pipes was banned in 1988.

The statute very specifically mandated the provisions in the standard. OSHA recognized, as it had when it adopted the general industry lead standard that exposure patterns would vary widely among the different types of construction employees. Since the interim final rule was published, a number of studies have been conducted that document exposure levels and blood lead levels among construction employees. Based on the availability of more data and public recommendations, OSHA decided to conduct a review of § 1926.62 to determine whether the standard should continue unchanged or whether it is possible to revise the standard to reduce the burden without reducing employee protection.

The risks posed by exposure to lead are well documented. The 2005 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead adds to the wealth of information by confirming the known health effects of lead and documenting new research, such as on the effects of lead when in combination with other metals and other toxic substances. Other research, such as the NIOSH studies of exposure pathways that can be as significant as inhalation thereby furthering employee exposures, indicate that we are continuing to uncover evidence that employees need protection from exposure to lead. Similarly, the comments identified a number of studies of exposure of employees in a variety of workplaces demonstrating the continuing need for the protection that the Lead in Construction standard provides. Based on the findings in this report and the evidence produced during this review process, OSHA concludes that for the hazards associated with lead in the construction industry, a mandatory standard remains necessary to adequately protect employees.

During this study, no evidence has been presented to OSHA suggesting that employers are having difficulty or are not capable of complying with the Lead in Construction standard during most operations most of the time. Technologies needed to comply with the standard are readily and widely available. This lookback study also concludes that the Lead in Construction standard has not had a negative economic impact on business, including small businesses, in most sectors affected. The construction sector overall is growing in terms of profits, revenues and employment. Since no comments suggest that the Lead in Construction standard has threatened massive dislocation to or imperil the existence of the construction industry, OSHA finds that the Lead in Construction standard remains economically feasible.

This regulatory review of the Lead in Construction standard meets the requirements of both Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Section 5 of Executive Order (EO) 12866. Under Section 610, this review examines whether the standard should be continued without change, rescinded, or amended to minimize any significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, taking into consideration the continued need for the rule, comments and complaints received regarding the rule, the complexity of the rule, whether the rule is duplicative and changes in technology and economic conditions since the issuance of the rule. Under Section 5 of EO 12866, this review examines whether the standard has become unjustified or unnecessary as a result of changed circumstances, and whether the standard is compatible with other regulations or is duplicative or inappropriately burdensome in the aggregate.  This review also ensures that the regulation is consistent with the priorities and the principles set forth in EO 12866 within applicable law, and examines whether the effectiveness of the standard can be improved. To assist OSHA in this review, OSHA requested public comments on these issues on June 6, 2005 (70 FR 32739).

Please note, this report uses the phrase “industrial construction,” “industrial painting,” and similar terminology. These phrases refer to construction work at industrial facilities and other non-building construction, such as bridges, pipelines, tunnels, tanks, etc. The phrases do not include employees in general industry, who are not covered by the Lead in Construction standard.

 

The full summary can be found here;

https://www.osha.gov/dea/lookback/lead-construction-review.html

 

OSHA approval of XRF for onsite Lead Testing;

 

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/leadtest/index.html

 

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