According to the Health & Safety Club, pure metallic lead by itself isn't dangerous to workers. It's the lead oxides and salts, usually in the form of metal fumes or dust particles, that present the health hazard.
It's crucial you protect your workers from lead exposure.
'Lead affects all organs and functions of the body to varying degrees. And the frequency and severity of symptoms among exposed individuals depends on the amount of exposure,' says the Health & Safety Advisor.
Here's a list of the 21 key lead-induced health effects:
1. Peripheral neuropathy
2. Fatigue and irritability
3. Impaired concentration
4. Hearing loss
5. Wrist/foot drop (limpness of the wrist and ankle)
7. Encephalopathy (abnormalities of the brain)
12. Lead line on gingival (gum) tissue
13. Miscarriages and stillbirths
14. Reduced sperm
15. Abnormal sperm
17. Erythrocyte protoporphyrin elevation (one of the consequences of iron deficiency)
18. Chronic nephropathy (abnormalities of kidneys)with proximal tubular damage
20. Arthralgia (pain in or around a joint)
21. Myalgia (muscular pain)
Remember, any work process that creates lead dust, fume or vapour is hazardous. Now that you're aware of the associated hazards, take the following steps to protect your employees from lead exposure.