NIOSH Provides Information to Reduce Workers’ Lead Exposure When Replacing Lead Pipes

Last September, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a new resource to help employers and employees reduce the hazards associated with removing and replacing lead pipes.

Workplace Solutions: Reducing worker lead exposure when removing and replacing water service lines Discusses the possibility of lead exposure when workers replace lead service lines and provides recommendations for reducing exposure. The 7-page document also includes information on the health effects of lead exposure, the dangers of take-home lead exposure for families, and workplace exposure limits and references.

NIOSH’s recommendations for employers to reduce lead exposure include measures such as:

  • Develop a written lead monitoring and control program, which may include a testing protocol, a hazard control program, and a workplace hazard assessment for tasks where workers may be exposed to lead
  • Monitoring airborne lead exposure
  • Providing portable, high efficiency HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners for cleaning work vehicles
  • Improve training, testing and housekeeping

“While this document is a valuable resource for those involved in lead service line replacement, there are a number of other industries where workers may be regularly exposed to lead,” said Joe Frasca, senior vice president of marketing at EMSL Analytical , Inc. “It is important to note that elevated blood lead levels can cause permanent health problems. For this reason, the EMSL laboratories offer comprehensive industrial hygiene, environmental and material tests for lead and other heavy metals. We also offer sampling supplies, easy-to-use testing kits, and even a full line of personal protective equipment (PPE). These services and tools not only protect workers, but also help ensure companies remain compliant to avoid costly penalties.”

A few years ago, EMSL sponsored an educational video about the risks of lead exposure in the workplace, which can still be viewed at

To learn more about lead testing and monitoring resources or to access PPE, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email [email protected].

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with locations in the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in rapid laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, coal and ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage and consumer products and materials testing services for the identification of unknown substances . EMSL serves both professionals and the general public. EMSL has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations and state and federal regulatory agencies, including but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and several other state accreditation agencies. For a complete list of accreditations, please visit our website at In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of sampling equipment and testing products for environmental professionals.

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