Recommendations for Improving the Cal/OSHA Lead Standards
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.
CDPH/OLPPP Recommendations for Cal/OSHA Lead Standard Revisions
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:
Lead in General Industry:
Cal/OSHA Lead Standard Advisory Meetings
Cal/OSHA Advisory Meetings on Occupational Lead Exposure – Cal/OSHA drafts of possible changes to the lead standards, meeting minutes, and future announcements
The scientific basis for CDPH/OLPPP lead standard recommendations
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)
California Lead Legislation & Regulations
The California State Legislature creates legislation (laws) through the passage of Assembly or Senate bills.
Regulations, also referred to as "standards," are the details and requirements for a given law.
Health standards are proposed by State agencies, such as the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) in the California Department of Industrial Relations, through a rulemaking process. Although Cal/OSHA proposes health regulations (and enforces health and safety regulations), they are passed by the California Occupational Safety and Health Board whose members are appointed by the Governor.
The following is a list of California occupational lead poisoning prevention laws and regulations.
Recommendations for improving the Cal/OSHA Lead Standards
The Cal/OSHA lead standards are based on lead toxicity information that is now over 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. See OLPPP's Recommendations for Improving the Cal/OSHA Lead Standards.
Lead in the Workplace - The New Science
A one-day scientific symposium moderated by John Howard, MD, Director of NIOSH
The CDPH Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (OLPPP) has reviewed available scientific information and made health-based recommendations to Cal/OSHA for revising its General Industry Lead Standard and Lead in Construction Standard. This symposium, held on November 13, 2013, discussed the scientific basis for the CDPH recommendations.
Scientific experts provided detailed presentations on the current literature on health effects of low-level lead exposure and the Cal/EPA report on modeling of the air lead/blood lead relationship. A CDPH representative presented the basis for the CDPH's Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) recommendation (PDF) to Cal/OSHA. In addition, a panel of experts from related disciplines responded to the presentations and participated in a Q & A session with symposium attendees.
Individual speaker presentations
|Michael J. Kosnett, MD, MPH|
University of Colorado, Dept. of Medicine, Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health
Health Hazards of Low-level Lead Exposure to Adults
|Kathleen Vork PhD, MPH|
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency
Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Air Lead and Blood Level Relationship
|Barbara Materna, PhD, CIH|
Chief of Occupational Health Branch, California Dept. of Public Health (CDPH)
CDPH Health-based Permissible Exposure Limit Recommendation for Lead
|Philip J Landrigan, MD, MSc, Mount Sinai School of Medicine|
Dale B. Hattis, PhD, Clark University
Ken D. Rosenman, MD, Michigan State University
Leslie Israel, DO, MPH, University of California at Irvine
Discussant Panel Responses (39.54 minutes)
Closing remarks by Dr. John Howard MD, MPH, JD
Director of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Q & A Session, Closing Remarks