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What ways can lead end up in a worker's system?

Some jobs involve working around or near lead. One hopes that in all industries that involve working with lead, employers take appropriate efforts to protect their employees from dangerous exposure to this toxic material.

There are multiple ways that a worker could suffer lead exposure when working around this material. Here are the three main ways:

  • Through contact. Industrial or work processes involving lead sometimes result in lead dust being generated. Such dust could potentially end up landing on a worker's clothes, hair and skin. Certain research has indicated that having lead on one's skin could result in lead ending up in one's system through absorption.  
  • Through ingestion. A special lead exposure risk can arise when a worker engages in activities such as smoking, eating or drinking when they have lead dust on their hands or when they are in a work area where lead dust is present. This risk is that a worker could end up accidentally ingesting lead dust. 
  • Through inhalation. In addition to lead dust, another thing some industrial or work processes involving lead can cause to end up in the air in a work area are lead fumes. Without proper and working protective equipment, a worker who is present in an area where lead dust or fumes are in the air could end up inhaling lead. 

Workplace lead exposures, whether they occur through contact, ingestion or inhalation, can have some serious health implications for a worker. Thankfully, Ohio workers who have suffered such a harmful exposure at their place of work may have remedies they can pursue through the state's workers' compensation system. Attorneys can help harmed workers who are seeking to make a workers' compensation claim in relation to a workplace lead exposure.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "LEAD - Information for Workers - How Lead Exposures Can Happen," Accessed Jan. 22, 2015

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The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

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