Lead Exposure

When one thinks of lead exposure, it is common to think of children being exposed by this danger, but employees should also be aware of potential lead exposure in their workplaces. Employees should be cognizant of hazardous materials to avoid developing medical conditions due to occupational exposures.

Work Tasks That Expose Workers to Lead

If you work somewhere where you grind lead, brass, bronze, or if you do construction work on bridges, houses, or buildings, you may be exposed to lead. Also, remodeling homes or working with scrap metal also increases your risks for lead exposure. Other types of activities that could expose employees to lead include:

  • make or fix batteries
  • melt, cast, or grind lead, brass, or bronze
  • make or fix radiators
  • make or paint ceramics
  • remove old paint
  • solder
  • work at a shooting range

Lead Exposure Health Concerns

Although larger amounts of lead need to be present to affect adults rather than children, lead exposure can still cause negative health effects in adult employees.  According to the CDC, some of these effects include:

  • Weakness
  • Pain or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory loss

These types of symptoms can be overlooked because they develop slowly over time. The only way to determine if you have lead poisoning is to get a blood test.  In children, the effects are usually neurological, such as a cognitive delays or difficulties concentrating. Lead exposure can also cause infertility, miscarriages, or lead poisoning in the womb.

Continual exposure to lead at work could make you depressed, distracted, continually forgetful, or habitually nauseous. It can also lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney disease.

Mistakenly Bringing Lead Home to Children

Lead can be brought home by employees if lead is present on their skin, hair, or clothes as a result of working with lead at work. Many parents may not be aware of this inherent risk. If employees work in conditions where they are exposed to lead, it is important to shower, wash their hair, and clean their clothing before interacting with children, especially children under the age of six. Clothing should be washed separately from other clothing. It is best to change clothing before you enter your car, or you can contaminate the car as well. If your employer can wash your work clothes, this is ideal.  Additionally, if you wash your clothing at home, it is advisable to run the washing machine empty after washing lead-contaminated clothing in order to clean the washing machine.

Employer Responsibilities

Workers should ask their employer if they work with lead. Additionally, you can request a Material Safety Data Sheet for each product you work with at your job.  If there has been testing for lead at your workplace, you may request the results.

Media Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Assist Those Who Have Been Exposed to Lead at Work

If you have been exposed to lead on the job and you have experienced negative health effects as a result, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced Media Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello can help you in your Workers’ Compensation claim and determine if you are eligible for compensation. Contact us online or call us at 610-892-4940 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Media, Pennsylvania, we also serve clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster, Montgomery County, Norristown, Reading, West Chester, Pennsylvania, and throughout the Philadelphia area.