Lead-Based Paint Safety

SKU: C-338Duration: 18 Minutes

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Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 18 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: 29 CFR 1910.1025 Subpart Z – Toxic and Hazardous Substances - Lead

Languages: English

This course covers basic guidelines and best practices for working safely around lead-based paint. Even though U.S. legislation passed in 1978 has dramatically limited the allowable lead levels in paint, lead-based paint is still present in many residential and commercial buildings. Based on OSHA standards set forth in 29-CFR 1910.1025 related to lead exposure in the workplace, this course is designed to help workers recognize and avoid the hazards associated with lead-based paint.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe why lead has historically been used in paint
  • Identify dangers and health effects of lead-based paint
  • Describe how to recognize and avoid the hazards associated with lead-based paint

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What is lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring element that is a dull silver-bluish color. It is dense, malleable, resists corrosion, and has a low melting point. Lead is sometimes found free in nature, but usually combines with other elements to form lead compounds.

What are some unique characteristics about lead?
Due to the high density of lead, it is used as a shield from the radiation given off by X-ray machines and nuclear reactors. Its resistance to corrosion makes lead a good candidate for lining containers and tanks that hold corrosive materials such as acid.

What are the two main ways workers can become over-exposed to lead?
The two main ways to become exposed to lead are inhalation and ingestion. Ingestion usually occurs when lead particles on the hands or face are taken in while eating or smoking, and are passed from the mouth into the stomach, absorbed into the bloodstream, and then distributed throughout the body. Inhalation occurs when airborne dust particles enter the body though the lungs. The particles in the lungs are absorbed into the bloodstream and then distributed throughout the body.

What are common effects from being exposed to lead or getting lead poisoning?
Early symptoms of lead poisoning include stomach aches, diarrhea, poor appetite, colic, lethargy and irritability. Lead poisoning can destroy red blood cells causing anemia, high blood pressure, and muscle and joint pain. Effects on the brain include nervous system disorders, loss of memory, difficulty concentrating, and distractibility. Effects on the reproductive system include birth defects, miscarriages in women, and impotency, or sterility in men.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

Lead is a naturally occurring metal. It has been used for thousands of years for a wide variety of purposes, including as a paint additive. There are three reasons why lead has been used in paint. The first reason is that lead is very resistant to corrosive substances like acid. The second reason is that lead, when combined with other materials to form compounds, produces vibrant and lasting paint colors. The third reason is leads abundance. Its extensive availability makes it a much cheaper alternative than other substances that have similar properties. Despite its useful properties, lead is a potent narrow toxin that has severe and permanent damaging effects on the human body. Even a single chip of lead containing paint can contain enough lead to cause serious health problems.

Additional Resources

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

  • U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) – www.osha.gov
  • OSHA Safety and Health Topics - https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/lead/
  • OSHA FactSheet - https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/LeadHazards.pdf
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – www.cdc.gov/niosh/
  • NIOSH Publications - http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/98-112/
  • NIOSH Workplace Safety & Health Topics - http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/
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