Lead poisoning is a major, preventable, environmental health problem for both children and adults.
In children, lead poisoning causes many health concerns, including developmental issues, lower IQ, behavioral problems, language delay, anemia, and damage to the nervous system. High lead levels in adults can cause high blood pressure, headaches, memory problems, kidney damage, irritability, difficulty sleeping, nerve disorders, muscle or joint pain, and damage to the reproductive system. Public health problems related to lead poisoning cause billions of dollars in health care costs to taxpayers and the government. Although bans on leaded gasoline and paint have reduced lead levels in children, many are still at risk for damaging lead exposure. Lead paint and the related dust and chips are the leading cause of high lead levels in U.S. children.
The Department of Labor Standard's (DLS) lead program aims to reduce the lead exposures for the Commonwealth's workers and the general public. DLS creates and enforces standards for renovation, repair, and painting for older homes and child-occupied facilities that may contain lead paint. Deleading operations are also covered.
DLS also oversees the Occupational Blood Lead Registry (OBLR), which tracks elevated blood lead levels among adults and provides educational counseling and guidance to workers. Through medical consultation, OBLR offers advice to physicians on the medical management of lead poisoning.