In order to understand lead exposure limits it’s important to first understand the nature of lead and what makes it toxic. Lead is a heavy metal that’s found naturally in the earth’s crust. Since lead is so ubiquitous, it was one of the first types of metal used by people. In turn, it was also one of the first recorded causes of work-related disease.
Lead is also so common because it can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used on its own as a pure metal, or it can be combined with other types of metal to form what’s called an alloy. It can also be combined with other metals to form a chemical compound.
One of the primary causes of toxic lead exposure limits is the fact that lead was once used extensively as a pigment in paints. The use of lead paint in residential and public buildings was banned in 1977. However, that just means lead paint is not present in buildings that were developed in the past 40 years. Lead paint is often still present in buildings that existed prior to 1977, and there’s no law in place forcing its removal.
What Leads to Toxic Lead Exposure Limits
Inhaling dust and fumes containing lead is usually how it ends up entering the body. It can also enter the body through ingestion, which is mostly a concern for children who may be curious about eating chips of lead paint, although ingestion of lead can also be a concern for adults. For example, if lead dust ends up on their hands, and then they go to eat something without washing their hands, they end up ingesting lead. So if you’re exposed to lead in the workplace, wash your hands regularly.
Those who work around lead-containing materials on a daily basis are those who are most at risk to lead exposure. As far as the general population is concerned, the risk of being exposed to lead comes from the small yet hazardous concentrations that may be found in food, water, and air. Lead is most toxic to children and pregnant women.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) states that the recommended lead exposure limits is a Time Weighted Average of 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air over a period of 8 hours.
If you exceed normal lead exposure limits, it can lead to adverse neurological effects, gastrointestinal problems, anemia, and kidney disease. Like other inhalants, once lead enters the lungs it’s absorbed into the bloodstream where it may cause harm to the body’s internal organs.
Limiting Lead Exposure Limits
If you suspect you’re at risk to lead exposure at either your home, we strongly recommend taking immediate action. One of the best ways to do this is by purchasing one of our at-home lead testing kits.
In addition to being user friendly, our test kits are legally defensible and include the cost of a full electronic lab analysis. To find out whether or you’re being exposed to unhealthy amounts of lead in either dust, water, or soil, order one of our lead testing kits today.
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