Target: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Goal: Have the current standards for healthy limits on lead exposure lowered to reflect new studies
Lead is a highly poisonous metal and a neurotoxin which can severely damage the nervous system, cause brain and kidney problems, and lead to blood disorders. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration established exposure standards in 1978 for industrial workplaces so that the amount of lead being absorbed by workers could be safely monitored. A study conducted by the National Research Council is now suggesting that these standards are incorrectly measured, and that workers today are still at risk of lead poisoning. Call upon the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to lower the current standard for lead exposure to reflect these new studies.
Under 40 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood was the level which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration deemed safe in 1978. As per these standards, the exposure for employees at military shooting ranges who inhale lead dust from gunfire, handle ammunition, and conduct maintenance is limited at 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air to keep them safe from overexposure. The Department of Defense asked that these standards be reevaluated for their effectiveness after finding that blood lead levels between 10-40 micrograms is enough to cause damage to the nervous system, kidney, heart, and reproductive system.
To make matters worse, data indicates that the original standard set by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has frequently been exceeded on Army, Navy, and Air Force firing ranges over the past five years. With this new information being provided, it’s clear that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration must immediately and officially lower the lead exposure limit in order to provide appropriate safety measures.
Ask that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration take this important action.
Dear Occupational Safety and Health Administration,
In 1978 you set the standard for safe lead exposure in the industrial workplace which is followed to this day. 40 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood was the limit set, with the idea that keeping one’s exposure under the limit would maintain proper health. However, recent findings have shown that blood lead levels between 10-40 micrograms is enough to cause damage to the nervous system, kidney, heart, and reproductive system.
With many workplaces known to go over the limit regardless, it becomes increasingly necessary to make immediate changes to your policies that reflect these modern findings. Please lower the limit on lead exposure in the workplace in order to ensure the health of countless people.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: West Point Public Affairs