North Carolina Warns of Lead Exposure in Workplace

The North Carolina Department of Labor is warning workers about the risks associated with lead exposure.

Pure lead (Pb) is a heavy metal and is a basic chemical element. It can combine with a number of other substances to produce various compounds. As useful as it might be, it can be awfully dangerous to your well-bring. When it’s absorbed into the body, certain doses can be toxic. You can inhale it or you can ingest it. Either way, it can cause some serious damage if it gets into your blood stream, first to cells, then to organs.
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Our Asheville workers’ compensation attorneys understand that there are many jobs in which workers are exposed to dangerous materials. In these positions, it’s critical for employers to make sure that their workers are not only provided with a safe work environment, but that they’re also provided with the proper safety equipment. Workers can be exposed to lead during the demolition of buildings, soldering or cutting metal, making jewelry, remodeling, painting, renovation projects, radiator repair, scrap metal operations and more. Workers of all kinds are at risk for this type of exposure. Unfortunately, many workers aren’t even aware of these dangers!

People who have high levels of lead in their body might not oftentimes seem sick. The symptoms that occur from this condition are somewhat common to an everyday sickness. When a worker is exposed to lead, they may not even show any signs of damage. That’s why blood testing is one of the only ways to tell if poisoning has occurred. The truth of it all is that lead is a powerful poison and it can stay in your body a long time.

Some signs that you may be experiencing lead over-exposure:

-Weight loss
-Nausea
-Constipation
-Loss of appetite
-Aches and pains in the stomach
-Difficulty concentrating
-Headache
-Trouble sleeping
-Irritability
-Weakness
-Tiredness
Luckily, there are ways that you can protect yourself from lead exposure. You should avoid eating, drinking or smoking while on the job. Before you eat or take a break you should wash your face and your hands.

Try to keep your work place as clean as possible. Sweep and dust regularly. Keep your work clothes in a safe and secluded place at work. Don’t bring them home with you. This will help to protect your family. Keep young ones out of these dangerous work areas. If you work with lead, make sure that you follow the safety and health instructions of your workplace. If you are provided with a respirator on the job, be sure that you use it and clean it afterwards. If you work with lead at work, make sure you get a blood lead test regularly.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a work accident, contact the Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for legal advice regarding your case. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Fluorescent Bulbs a Workplace Hazard in North Carolina?, North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 7, 2012

Workplace Violence: An Unrecognized Threat in North Carolina, North Carolina Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 5, 2012

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