The Cal/OSHA lead standards are based on lead toxicity information that is now 40 years old. Current medical information clearly demonstrates harmful effects of chronic and low-level exposures to lead in adults, at levels well below those currently allowed by the standards.
The CDPH Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OLPPP) reviewed the scientific information and made health-based recommendations to Cal/OSHA for revising its General Industry Lead Standard and Construction Industry Lead Standard for the protection of workers who are exposed to lead on the job. OLPPP participated in the Cal/OSHA (Division of Occupational Safety and Health) Advisory Committee process for revising the Lead Standards. See below for details and supporting documentation.
Revising the Workplace Lead Standards: At-A-Glance (PDF) - brief summary of the scientific background, CDPH recommendations, and next steps in revising the standards.
Recommended Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for Lead (PDF)* – health-based recommendation for the limit in workplace air (September 2013)
Lead in Construction Industry:
Summary of Recommended Changes (PDF) – includes chart comparing triggers and requirements (April 2011)
Current Lead in Construction Standard with Proposed Revisions (PDF) (April 2011)
Lead in General Industry:
General Industry Lead Standard -- Summary of Recommended Changes (PDF) – includes chart comparing triggers and requirements (June 2010)
Current General Industry Lead Standard with Proposed Revisions (PDF) (December 2011)
Cal/OSHA Advisory Meetings on Occupational Lead Exposure – Cal/OSHA drafts of possible changes to the lead standards, meeting minutes, and future announcements
Symposium: Lead in the Workplace – The New Science (Includes Recorded Video Stream) – Symposium on the science behind the CDPH’s recommended revisions to the Cal/OSHA lead standards. Web page with video streams and PowerPoint presentations by each speaker, videos of expert panel and audience discussion. (November 2013)
Estimating Workplace Air and Worker Blood Lead Concentration using an Updated Physiologically-based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Model (PDF)– report produced by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), characterizing the relationship between air lead levels and blood lead levels. (revised December 2014)
Health professional summary (PDF)
General public summary (PDF)
National Toxicology Program (NTP) Monograph On Health Effects Of Low-Level Lead – technical report produced by the NTP Office of Health Assessment and Translation. (June 2012)
Integrated Science Assessment for Lead – technical report produced by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Report includes a summary and evaluation of the research on the health effects of low-level lead. (June 2013)
Recommendations for Medical Management of Adult Lead Exposure (PDF)– journal article abstract (2007)
We are currently in the process of converting these documents to ADA web accessible formats. They will be available soon. Thank you for your patience.