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The Occupational Lead Poisoning Registry is dedicated to reducing the incidence and severity of lead poisoning among Massachusetts workers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shown that even at very low levels, such as 5 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dl), lead can cause significant health problems. Just as there is no healthy elevated blood pressure, there is no healthy amount of lead to have in the body. Poisoning may occur over a prolonged time or may be due to a single exposure. The latest CDC research shows that long- term lead exposure and poisoning can be just as dangerous as a large one-time exposure. If you are unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms of lead poisoning, know that these are some typical health effects:


These are some ways you can avoid lead poisoning:

• Use lead-safe work and hobby practices.
• Always assume that paint, solder, bullets, bullet primer, and painted steel contain lead.
• Use ventilation when using power tools on lead paint or handling molten lead. The ventilation should be HEPA filtered.
• Wear a tight-fitting respirator with P100/HEPA or a supplied-air respirator when working with lead containing products.
• When cleaning yourself or work areas from dust that may contain lead do not use compressed air. Use an industrial HEPA vacuum or wet cleaning method.
• Do not eat, drink or smoke in areas where lead is or has been present.
• Always wash hands and face before eating, drinking or smoking.
• Shower, wash your hair and change into clean clothes, including shoes, after working with lead to avoid poisoning your family.
• Store street clothes in a separate place from work clothes.
• Do not wear your work shoes inside your home.
• When doing hobbies that involve lead do so in a well-ventilated and a dedicated area away from food preparation.
For more tips on how to avoid lead poisoning on the job or during a hobby please go to

Written By:

Manager of Safety/Health, Department of Labor Standards

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