Blood Lead Laboratories

The OSHA Lead Standards for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1025) and Construction (29 CFR 1926.62) require employers to provide biological monitoring for workers exposed to airborne lead above the action level. Employers are required to have these samples analyzed by a laboratory which meets OSHA accuracy requirements in blood lead proficiency testing (PT). Samples must be analyzed for lead and zinc protoporphyrin (or free erythrocyte protoporphyrin).

On October 1, 2018, OSHA issued a memo that provided updated guidance for Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) on how to evaluate employers’ use of clinical laboratories for employee blood lead testing under the general industry lead standard (29 CFR 1910.1025(j)(2)(iii)) and the construction lead standard (29 CFR 1926.62(j)(2)(iii)). For reasons described in the memo, OSHA no longer directly approves blood lead testing laboratories, as OSHA recognizes that the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) criteria for blood lead proficiency testing constitute the federal government’s legal requirements for laboratories performing human blood lead testing. This approach will reduce costs and burdens on employers and at the same time reduce costs and increase efficiency to OSHA, as OSHA will no longer duplicate the work already performed by the U.S. government agency that administers the CLIA programs. If you need additional assistance, please contact Fern Stones (OSHA's former Blood Lead Lab Coordinator) or refer to the information by State on our State Registries page.