Lead aware in the workplace
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Contractors working in and around Port Pirie are at risk of being exposed to lead dust and fumes. Such exposure can result in an increased absorption of lead in the body. Lead enters the body by absorption through the lungs and stomach and is transported around the body in the blood stream. In a healthy adult much of this lead is excreted, however some may be deposited in body tissue and bones.
An increased absorption of lead can affect your blood making, renal and nervous systems. Prolonged excessive absorption of lead may result in adverse health effects such as headaches, tiredness, constipation and weight loss.
A blood lead test is a simple finger prick and will tell you your blood lead level.
Workers should have a blood lead test:
Contact the Environmental Health Centre for a free blood test.
Use work practices that minimise the spread of airborne dust. This includes:
Remember time taken to prepare the work area will prevent other parts of the building being contaminated and make clean-up easier.
Plan, be aware, protect and clean-up
Young children absorb 50% of the lead that they are exposed to whereas adults absorb 10%. Young children are further at risk due to their hand to mouth activities.
To avoid putting your family at risk:
Cleaning includes not only the removal of visible debris but also the removal of lead dust particles which are too small to be seen by the naked eye.
For further information on lead safe practices, contact the Environmental Health Centre or SA Health's Scientific Services on (08) 8226 7100. Additional information on reducing your exposure to lead is also available on the following pages: