Lead In Construction 610 Review
REGULATORY REVIEW OF
29 CFR 1926.62
Lead in Construction

Pursuant to
Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act
and Section 5 of Executive Order 12866

Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Directorate of Evaluation and Analysis
Office of Evaluations and Audit Analysis

August 2007



Table of Contents

ACRONYMS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION AND NATURE OF THE REVIEW
Chapter 1. BACKGROUND OF STANDARD/REVIEW
1.1 Background
1.2 Description of 29 cfr 1926.62
1.2.1 Applicability
1.2.2 Main Requirements
1.3 Reasons for Review
1.4 Organization of the Report
Chapter 2. LEAD HAZARDS/USE OF LEAD IN CONSTRUCTION
2.1 Lead
2.2 Lead Exposure Routes
2.3 Health Effects of Lead Exposure4
2.4 Lead Exposures in Construction
2.5 Other Sources of Lead Exposure
2.6 Conclusion
Chapter 3. INDUSTRY PROFILE
3.1 Construction Industry
3.1.1 Overview
3.1.2 Sectors Unlikely to Be Subject to the standard
3.1.3 Sectors Likely to Be Subject to the standard
3.2 Heavy Construction
3.2.1 Bridge Painters
3.2.2 Other Heavy Construction Activities
3.3 Lead Abatement
3.4 Renovation and Remodeling Employees
3.4.1 Painters
3.4 2 Renovation and Remodeling
3.4.3 Other Specialty Trade Contractors
3.5 Conclusion
Chapter 4. OTHER FEDERAL REGULATIONS ON LEAD EXPOSURE
4.1 EPA Regulations
4.1.1 Background
4.1.2 Lead-Based Paint Regulations
4.1.3 Other EPA Regulations
4.2 HUD Regulations
4.3 CPSC Regulations
4.4 Comparison
4.5 Voluntary standards
Chapter 5. ANALYSIS OF LEAD EXPOSURES IN CONSTRUCTION
5.1 ABLES Data
5.2 Lead Exposures In Industrial Construction
5.2.1 Cases of Elevated BLLs in Industrial Construction Employees
5.2.2 Studies of Bridge Employees
5.2.3 NIOSH Studies
5.2.4 State Data
5.2.5 Iowa Study
5.2.6 Conclusion
5.3 Lead exposure in Renovation and Remodeling Work
5.3.1 Extent of Lead in the Housing Stock
5.3.2 Likelihood of Exposure
5.3.3 Blood Lead Levels in Residential Construction Employees
CHAPTER 6. COMPLIANCE WITH THE LEAD IN CONSTRUCTION RULE
6.1 General History
6.1.1 Violations by Industry
6.1.2 Violations by Subsection of the Rule
6.2 Compliance in the Painting Industry
6.2.1 Violations Over Time
6.2.2 Violations by Subsection of the Rule
6.2.3 Violations by Size of Firm
6.2.4 Violations by Type of Work
6.3 Other Compliance data
Chapter 7. COST IMPACTS OF THE STANDARD
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Unit Costs
7.2.1 Wage Rates
7.2.2 Initial Assessment Costs - Bridges and Industrial Jobs
7.2.3 Employee Protection Costs
7.2.4 Medical Surveillance Costs
7.3 Industrial/Bridge Painting
7.4 Renovation and Remodeling Costs
7.5 Lead Abatement Costs
7.6 Small Entity Impacts
7.6.1 Impact on Bridge Painters
7.6.2 Residential Painters
7.6.3 Impact on Lead Abatement Contractors
7.7 Conclusion
Chapter 8. SECTION 610 AND EO 12866 REVIEWS
8.1 Section 610 Review
8.1.1 Continued Need for the Rule
8.1.2 Nature of the Complaints and Comments, and OSHA Responses
8.1.3 Complexity of the Rule
8.1.4 Overlap with Other Rules
8.1.5 Changes That Affect the Rule
8.2 E.O. 12866 Analysis
8.2.1 Whether the standard Has Become Unjustified or Unnecessary as a Result of Changed Circumstances
8.2.2 Whether the standard is Compatible with Other Regulations and Not Duplicative or Inappropriately Burdensome in the Aggregate
8.2.3 Whether the standard is Consistent With the President's Priorities
8.2.4 Whether the Effectiveness of the standard Can Be Improved
Chapter 9. CONCLUSIONS
APPENDIX A: BIBLIOGRAPHY
APPENDIX B: UNIT COST DATA
APPENDIX C: LIST OF COMMENTERS
APPENDIX D: REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ACT, SECTION 610
APPENDIX E: INTRODUCTION AND SECTION 5 OF E.O. 12866



Table of Figures

Table 2-1: Lead-Related Construction Tasks and Their Presumed 8-Hour TWA Exposure Levels
Table 2-2: Mean Exposures and Time Required to Reach 8-hour TWA for Renovation and Remodeling Activities
Table 2-3: 30-Minute Lead Exposures by Work Method (mg/m3)
Table 2-4: Mean and Total 30-Minute Lead Exposures (mg/m3) by Percentage Lead in Paint and Work Method
Table 3-1: Number of Firms and Employees in the Construction Industry
Table 3-2: 2003 Construction Spending by Type of Construction
Table 3-3: Distribution of Construction Firms by Employee Number, 2001
Table 3-4: 2003 Variation in Employment by Sector
Table 3-5: 1993-2003 Inspections and Violations by Industry Sector
Table 3-6: Estimated Number of Employees in Sectors with Potential Lead Use
Table 3-7: Number of Painting Firms Specializing by Type of Construction
Table 3-8: Painting Firms by Employees and Sales
Table 3-9: Size and Sales of General Renovation and Remodeling Firms
Table 3-10: Estimated Number of Firms and Employees Subject to the standard
Table 4-1: Comparison of OSHA, EPA, and HUD Lead Programs
Table 5-1: ABLES Data by SIC Code and State for BLLs > 25
Table 5-2: 2002 ABLES Data by SIC Code and BLL
Table 5-3: Number of ABLES Cases by State for SIC Code 1721
Table 5-4: Mean BLLs for Bridge Employees, by Job Category and Year - Connecticut Road Industry Surveillance Project, 1991-1994
Table 5-5: BLLs in Bridge Employees 1994
Table 5-6: Reports of California Industrial Construction Employee BLL - 1995-1999
Table 5-7: Reports of California Bridge Painter BLL Data 2002-2004
Table 5-8: Reports of Massachusetts Industrial Construction Employee BLL - 1991-2001
Table 5-9: Reports of Ohio 1995-2004 BLL Data on Bridge Painters
Table 5-10: Total Housing Units and Units with Lead Hazards
Table 5-11: Building Components Coated with LBP by Year of Construction (%)
Table 5-12: Percent of Painting Work on New Construction
Table 5-13: Estimated Number of Painting Jobs/Year Involving LBP
(Assumed Total 50 Jobs/Year)
Table 5-14: Washington State Lead Exposure During Surface Preparation for Residential Painting
Table 5-15: Demographic and Work Practice Summary, EPA Phase II
Table 5-16: Work Practice Summary for Paint Removal and Clean Up, EPA Phase II
Table 5-17: Employee BLLs from EPA Study, Phase II
Table 5-18: Predicted Employee Blood-Lead Concentrations Associated with Low, Medium, and High Exposure Indices for Each Employee Group
Table 5-19: Employee BLLs from EPA Study Phase IV
Table 5-20: Predicted Changes in High Risk Employee BLL (mg/dL) Associated with 10 Days of Work in Pre-1940 Homes
Table 5-21: Reports of California Construction Employee BLL- 1995-1999
Table 5-22: Reports on Massachusetts Industrial Construction Employee BLL - 1991-2001
Table 5-23: Reports on Ohio Painters 1995-2004
Table 6-1: Violations by Industry Sector 1993-2003
Table 6-2: Requirements of Subsection (d) Most Often Violated, 1993-2003
Table 6-3: Subsections Most Often Violated by Painting Firms 1993- 2003
Table 6-4: Violations by Size of Painting Firms FY 2003
Table 6-5: Inspections with Violations by Type of Paint Work
Table 7-1: Wage Rates
Table 7-2: Capital and O&M Costs for Initial Assessments
Table 7-3: FHWA Lead Health and Safety Costs for Bridges
Table 7-4: Respirator Costs by Type
Table 7-5: Shrouded Tool Costs
Table 7-6: Estimated Compliance Cost for Bridge Painting/Repair
Table 7-7: Project Cost Analysis for a 15,000 Square Foot Bridge
Table 7-8: Project Cost Analysis for a 250,000 Square Foot Bridge
Table 7-9: Estimated Costs of Residential Painting Projects for 50 Jobs per Year
Table 7-10: Estimated Lead Abatement Cost/Job for 30 Jobs/Year
Table 7-11: Estimated Lead Abatement Costs Per Job by Number of Jobs/Year
Table 7-12: Employment and Sales Distributions for Selected Construction Sectors
Table 7-13: Size and Annual Sales of the Median Firm by Sector
Table 7-14: Costs of Painting Jobs by Unit Size
Table 7-15: Percentage Increase in Average Job Cost for Compliance
Table 8-1: Comparison of OSHA, EPA, and HUD Lead Programs




ABLES Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance
AHS American Housing Survey
AIHA American Industrial Hygiene Association
AL Action Level
ATSDR U.S. Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
BCTD Building and Construction Trades Department AFL-CIO
BLL Blood Lead Level
CAA Clean Air Act
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDPHAS CT Department of Public Health and Addiction Services
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
COC U.S. Chamber of Commerce
CONNDOT CT Department of Transportation
CPSC U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
CRISP CT Road Industry Surveillance Project
CWA Clean Water Act
D&B Dun and Bradstreet
EO Executive Order
EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
ESC EnviroScience Consultants
FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration
FHSA Federal Hazardous Substances Act
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FTE Full-time Equivalents
HEPA High-efficiency Particulate Air
HHE Health Hazard Evaluation
HUD U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
LBP Lead-based Paint
LBPPPA Lead-based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act
LEHA Lead and Environmental Hazards Association
NAAQS National Ambient Air Quality standards
NAHB National Association of Home Builders
NAICS   North American Industry Classification System
NIOSH National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
NPCA National Paint and Coatings Association
NYSOHCN NY State Occupational Health Clinic Network
O&M Operations and Maintenance
OMB Office of Management and Budget
OSHA U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PEL Permissible Exposure Limit
PM   Particulate Matter
PPE Personal Protective Equipment
RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
R&R Renovation and Remodeling
SBA Small Business Administration
SSPC Steel Structures Painting Council
SIC   standard Industrial Classification
TIC   Tank Industry Consultants
TSCA Toxic Substance Control Act
TWA Time-weighted Average
USC United State Code
XRF X-ray Fluorescence
ZPP Zinc Protoporphyrin




In 1993, in response to a statutory mandate (Sections 1031 and 1032 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, Pub.L. 102-550), OSHA promulgated the Lead in Construction standard (29 CFR 1926.62) as an interim final rule. Elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) can produce irreversible adverse health effects, and studies had shown lead disease in construction employees. The goal of the standard is to protect construction employees from lead-related diseases, which can result from exposure to lead dust or fumes.

Construction employees are exposed to lead primarily when they remove lead-based paint (LBP) from structural steel bridges or buildings, engage in demolition of structures with LBP, engage in the removal of lead from buildings, or prepare some old buildings for painting. A relatively small number of construction employees are exposed to lead when using molten lead to seal cables, lead-containing mortar, lead sheeting, repairing old plumbing, and performing work on older structures, as well as on shielding for ionizing radiation, radioactive materials, and X-rays. In 1978, LBP was banned for use on residences or other buildings where consumers could be exposed; industrial use of LBP was phased out in the same period. Lead solder for water pipes was banned in 1988.

The statute very specifically mandated the provisions in the standard. OSHA recognized, as it had when it adopted the general industry lead standard that exposure patterns would vary widely among the different types of construction employees. Since the interim final rule was published, a number of studies have been conducted that document exposure levels and blood lead levels among construction employees. Based on the availability of more data and public recommendations, OSHA decided to conduct a review of § 1926.62 to determine whether the standard should continue unchanged or whether it is possible to revise the standard to reduce the burden without reducing employee protection.

The risks posed by exposure to lead are well documented. The 2005 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead adds to the wealth of information by confirming the known health effects of lead and documenting new research, such as on the effects of lead when in combination with other metals and other toxic substances. Other research, such as the NIOSH studies of exposure pathways that can be as significant as inhalation thereby furthering employee exposures, indicate that we are continuing to uncover evidence that employees need protection from exposure to lead. Similarly, the comments identified a number of studies of exposure of employees in a variety of workplaces demonstrating the continuing need for the protection that the Lead in Construction standard provides. Based on the findings in this report and the evidence produced during this review process, OSHA concludes that for the hazards associated with lead in the construction industry, a mandatory standard remains necessary to adequately protect employees.

During this study, no evidence has been presented to OSHA suggesting that employers are having difficulty or are not capable of complying with the Lead in Construction standard during most operations most of the time. Technologies needed to comply with the standard are readily and widely available. This lookback study also concludes that the Lead in Construction standard has not had a negative economic impact on business, including small businesses, in most sectors affected. The construction sector overall is growing in terms of profits, revenues and employment. Since no comments suggest that the Lead in Construction standard has threatened massive dislocation to or imperil the existence of the construction industry, OSHA finds that the Lead in Construction standard remains economically feasible.

This regulatory review of the Lead in Construction standard meets the requirements of both Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Section 5 of Executive Order (EO) 12866. Under Section 610, this review examines whether the standard should be continued without change, rescinded, or amended to minimize any significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, taking into consideration the continued need for the rule, comments and complaints received regarding the rule, the complexity of the rule, whether the rule is duplicative and changes in technology and economic conditions since the issuance of the rule. Under Section 5 of EO 12866, this review examines whether the standard has become unjustified or unnecessary as a result of changed circumstances, and whether the standard is compatible with other regulations or is duplicative or inappropriately burdensome in the aggregate.  This review also ensures that the regulation is consistent with the priorities and the principles set forth in EO 12866 within applicable law, and examines whether the effectiveness of the standard can be improved. To assist OSHA in this review, OSHA requested public comments on these issues on June 6, 2005 (70 FR 32739).

Please note, this report uses the phrase "industrial construction," "industrial painting," and similar terminology. These phrases refer to construction work at industrial facilities and other non-building construction, such as bridges, pipelines, tunnels, tanks, etc. The phrases do not include employees in general industry, who are not covered by the Lead in Construction standard.

This review of the Lead in Construction standard under Regulatory Flexibility Act section 610 finds the following:

In 1993, OSHA estimated that 937,000 employees were exposed to lead in the construction industry. That included employees exposed below levels that would trigger the standard. OSHA estimates that, as of 2003, there are 649,000 employees exposed at levels that may trigger application of the standard.

OSHA regularly enforces the lead standard in the construction industry. Between 1993 and 2003, Federal OSHA and State-Plan States made a total of 4,384 inspections in construction that covered lead exposure and issued 12,556 citations.

Less than 25 percent of housing units have lead paint on any element. This represents about 20 million housing units. It is not known how many commercial and industrial buildings have lead paint, but the age distribution of those buildings is similar to that of residential buildings. There are about 225,000 structural steel highway and railroad bridges in the U.S., and it is estimated that 90,000 have lead paint. Other industrial structures, such as tanks, may have lead paint. Older plumbing may use lead pipes or lead solder. Lead solder still has some uses; lead containing mortar is used in tanks containing acid; lead is used for some electric cable splicing, radiation shields, and for some other purposes. Construction employees may be exposed to lead in these areas.

There is a continued need for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Lead in Construction standard. This standard, mandated by statute, remains both justified and necessary to implement the statute's intent; that is, to reduce both lead exposures in construction employees and disease resulting from these lead exposures. The standard has reduced blood lead levels (BLLs) of exposed employees. Retention of the standard is necessary to continue to achieve that goal because the study revealed that certain construction jobs still have high airborne lead exposures, and compliance data indicate that there are still instances of non-compliance with the standard.

Studies continue to show that elevated BLLs are associated with neurological effects, including reduced intelligence, changes in brain function, fatigue, impotence, and reductions in nerve conductivity. There are also systemic effects from lead exposures, such as changes in the level of circulating thyroid hormones and changes in immune system parameters. Other effects from lead exposures include reduced kidney function, increased blood pressure, gastrointestinal effects, cardiovascular effects, and anemia. There is evidence that lead is a reproductive toxin. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that lead and lead compounds are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that lead is a probable human carcinogen. Furthermore, a recently published study of the general, U.S. adult population reports increases in both cardiovascular deaths and deaths from all causes at BLLs substantially lower than previously reported [i.e., an increase in mortality at BLLs >0.10 µmol/L (≥2µg/dL)].

A number of jobs in the construction industry create high airborne levels of lead. These include bridge repainting and repair, lead remediation, remodeling and renovation of older housing and commercial buildings, preparation for repainting of residences and other structures, repairs of older plumbing, and other jobs. Exposures to employees in bridge repainting can be in the 1000's of ug/m3 of lead, and paint preparation exposures can be in the 100's of ug/m3 of lead. National Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) data and other studies show that some construction employees still have relatively high blood lead levels which may be indicative of disease. These data show that the standard has resulted in lower blood lead levels for construction employees. Although one study indicates that high airborne exposures did not lead to high blood lead levels for a group of residential painters, other studies indicate high blood lead levels in residential painters. No studies contradict Congress' conclusion that this standard is needed to protect construction employees.

The evidence indicates that the Lead in Construction standard has not had a negative economic impact on business, including small businesses, in most sectors affected. The construction sector overall is growing in terms of profits, revenues and employment. Small businesses are retaining their share of the business. Bridge painting is generally paid for by governmental entities that usually require bidders to meet the OSHA standard. Larger projects need to meet EPA requirements requiring experienced contractors who follow OSHA requirements. Lead remediation projects follow HUD requirements which require compliance with the OSHA requirements. Renovation and remodeling of older buildings containing lead are usually big enough jobs so that the costs of following the OSHA standard are relatively small in comparison to total costs.

In addition to potential exposure to lead in bridge painting projects, lead paint is still used in some municipalities for traffic paints. However, studies have shown that exposures are minimal because of the nature of the equipment used. Substitutes are available and widely used through the United States; in fact, several jurisdictions prohibit the use of lead chromate paint. Therefore, OSHA expects the economic impact to be negligible.

Residential repainting presents a more complex picture. Lead paint was banned after 1978; therefore, the standard has no impact on painting new units or repainting units built after 1978. There is relatively little lead paint on units built from 1941 to 1978; for most repainting jobs on units built between 1941 and 1978, an initial assessment that lead exposures are low is all that would be required, and therefore, the costs are manageable for small painting contractors. For some units built before 1941 and a few built between 1941 to 1978, where lead exposure levels are high during preparation for repainting, hazards are created for the painters and their families; the standard creates costs to reduce those hazards. For larger and better quality jobs, the costs to comply with the standard are manageable for small painting contractors. However, for smaller, low quality jobs, a self-employed painter not covered by the standard could underbid a contractor who followed the standard, and for this limited category of jobs, there could be a negative economic impact.

On Jan. 10, 2006, EPA proposed regulations for all rental properties and owner-occupied housing containing children under 6 to protect the residents from lead exposure. The practical effect of those regulations will be to encourage the hiring of painting contractors who obey the OSHA standard, and therefore, those small painting contractors who comply with the OSHA Standard will then be more likely to be hired. Steps OSHA will be taking to further reduce economic impacts are discussed below.

The standard is not overly complex. It follows the format and principles of other OSHA health standards. However, OSHA will review its compliance assistance and guidance materials to determine the need for enhancements. OSHA also will review the adequacy of how these materials are disseminated and additional means for reaching affected populations.

The OSHA Lead in Construction standard does not conflict with other regulations. Both EPA and HUD have major regulations regarding lead, the EPA to reduce lead in the environment and HUD to reduce lead exposure in residences, especially to children. The OSHA and HUD regulations tend to be complementary. Following OSHA regulations will reduce lead dust in residences which both protects the painter or remodeller and the children who live in that unit. The relationship with EPA regulations is more complex. For example, EPA requires the use of enclosures on bridge painting to prevent the spread of lead to the environment. This tends to increase airborne exposures in the employee's breathing zone, making rigorous adherence to the OSHA standard crucial for protecting the employee.

Though the HUD and EPA regulations do not conflict with OSHA's standard, commenters made two suggestions which OSHA will seriously consider and discuss with EPA, HUD, and NIOSH. First, many of the commenters suggested that the agencies develop a joint training program which would cover the requirements of each of the agencies. Second, some commenters suggested that OSHA consider modifying its initial assessment monitoring to be more integrated with HUD and EPA approaches.

Several technological changes will make it easier to comply with the standard. The reduced use of lead in paint, piping, solder and elsewhere will in the long term reduce employee exposure to lead. Low-volume/high-velocity exhaust systems adapted to portable hand tools can increase their effectiveness and reduce their cost of operation. Small volumes of air at relatively high velocities are used to control dust. Portable trailers with showers and clean change facilities have become more available and cheaper to rent, reducing the likelihood that employees will contaminate "clean areas" of the project (including non-lead areas, and sanitary/eating/drinking facilities), themselves, and other employees, and reducing the chance that lead would be tracked home.

OSHA received a number of extensive comments which are summarized in Chapter 8. Commenters representing NIOSH, HUD, state EPAs, the Building and Construction Trades Division of the AFL-CIO, the New York State Occupational Health Clinic Network, and a number of public interest and environmental protection professional groups stressed the need for the standard, the studies demonstrating the negative health effects of lead, and the high levels that construction employees can be exposed to if they are not properly protected. They suggested ways that the standard should be strengthened and expressed how important it is that the OSHA, HUD, and EPA regulations all work together.

The National Association of Home Builders, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Small Business Administration suggested that OSHA have a rulemaking to reconsider the data and make the standard more cost-effective. Congress not only directed OSHA to issue the Lead in Construction standard, it also specified in considerable detail what should be included in this standard in response to lead poisoning of construction employees. Congress did not specifically direct OSHA to engage in further rulemaking like it did when it directed OSHA to issue the Hazardous Waste standard. The health studies and exposure information since the standard was issued do not indicate any less need for the standard, and the standard is consistent with other health standards. Therefore, a very large-scale, OSHA resource-intensive rulemaking for lead in construction, which would most likely result in a rule very similar to the rule we have now, does not appear to be a wise use of OSHA's limited rulemaking resources.

Many commenters made suggestions intended to make the standard more effective in protecting employees and more cost-effective. These include: issuing more extensive outreach and guidance materials, including materials in Spanish and other relevant languages; developing a joint training curriculum covering OSHA, HUD, and EPA requirements; developing a clearer initial assessment approach, to be better integrated with HUD and EPA requirements; reducing any duplication between regulations; and making the standard more cost-effective for small businesses, by encouraging the development of less costly ways to meet industrial hygiene requirements, so that lead will not contaminate the employees, clean areas of the project (including, for example, non-lead areas, sanitary/eating/drinking facilities, etc.) and reducing the chance that lead would be tracked home. OSHA will review these suggestions for possible implementation.

The Executive Order 12866 review of the Lead in Construction standard indicates that:

The Lead in Construction standard, mandated by statute, remains both justified and necessary to implement the statute's intent; that is, to reduce both lead exposures in construction employees and disease resulting from these lead exposures. The standard has reduced blood lead levels of exposed employees. Its retention is necessary to continue to achieve that goal because construction jobs still have high airborne lead exposures, and compliance data indicate that there are continuing violations of the standard. Therefore, the standard is consistent with EO 12866.

The standard is consistent with other OSHA standards. Also, it is not in conflict with and is generally consistent with EPA regulations to reduce environmental exposures and with HUD regulations to reduce lead exposures in children. Indeed, the OSHA standard is often complimentary to those regulations. As discussed, OSHA will review initial assessment requirements to see if a more unified and cost-effective approach can be developed.

The standard is not inappropriately burdensome in the aggregate. The one narrow area discussed above where there may be some burden (i.e., house painters exposed to lead while performing small jobs) will be ameliorated by better outreach materials, better guidance on initial assessment, and the finalization of new EPA regulations.

The effectiveness of the Standard could be improved by making outreach materials available in Spanish and other relevant languages. Also, after consultation with EPA and HUD, OSHA will consider the development of unified training materials and exploring a more unified approach to initial assessment.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Conclusions:

OSHA concludes that the Lead in Construction standard is necessary to protect construction employees from lead disease.
  • Studies continue to demonstrate that elevated lead exposures result in disease and that some construction jobs involve high airborne lead exposures.
  • The standard has resulted in reduced blood lead levels for construction employees.
  • The Lead in Construction standard is also consistent with the Presidential priority "to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the United States as a major public health problem by the year 2010," because the standard "also benefits the children of those workers who may have been placed at risk via take-home exposures (such as lead dust on work clothing).
Recommendations:

As a result of this lookback review and the comments received from participants, OSHA is considering the following actions to improve the effectiveness of the standard and make it more cost-effective:
  • OSHA will review its compliance assistance materials to determine the need for updates. OSHA also will review the adequacy of how these materials are disseminated and additional means for reaching affected populations.
  • OSHA will consult with EPA and HUD to determine the value of a unified training curriculum and whether a course can be developed to meet the requirements of all three agencies. OSHA also will attempt to develop interpretations for its initial assessment requirements [29 CFR 1926.62(d)], in order to integrate them better with HUD and EPA requirements, reduce duplication, and make better use of historical data; these interpretations should help reduce costs and simplify the standard's requirements for small businesses.

INTRODUCTION AND NATURE OF THE REVIEW

In 2003, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began a review of its Lead in Construction standard under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act[1] and Section 5 of Executive Order (EO) 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review.[2]
The purpose of a review under Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act:

"(S)hall be to determine whether such rules should be continued without change, or should be rescinded or amended consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, to minimize any significant impact of the rules on a substantial number of small entities."

* * *

"(T)he Agency shall consider the following factors:
  1. The continued need for the rule;
  2. The nature of complaints or comments received concerning the rule from the public;
  3. The complexity of the rule;
  4. The extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other Federal rules, and, to the extent feasible, with State and local governmental rules; and
  5. The length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule."
The review requirements of Section 5 of EO 12866 require agencies:
"To reduce the regulatory burden on the American people, their families, their communities, their State, local, and tribal governments, and their industries; to determine whether regulations promulgated by the [Agency] have become unjustified or unnecessary as a result of changed circumstances; to confirm that regulations are both compatible with each other and not duplicative or inappropriately burdensome in the aggregate; to ensure that all regulations are consistent with the President's priorities and the principles set forth in this Executive Order, within applicable law; and to otherwise improve the effectiveness of existing regulations."
To carry out these reviews, on June 6, 2005, OSHA asked the public for comments on all issues raised by these provisions (70 FR 32739). Specifically, OSHA requested comments on the impacts of the rule on small businesses; the benefits and utility of the rule in its current form and, if amended, in its amended form; the continued need for the rule; the complexity of the rule; and whether, and to what extent, the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal, State, and local government rules. OSHA also asked for comments on new developments in technology, economic conditions, or other factors affecting the ability of covered firms to comply with the standard. Furthermore, OSHA asked for comments on alternatives to the rule that would minimize significant impacts on small businesses, while achieving the objectives of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

OSHA accepted written comments from June 6, 2005 through November 7, 2005. All documents and comments received relevant to the review and documents discussed in this report are available at the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. H023, Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20210, Telephone (202) 693-2350. Many of the comments received are also available on-line at www.dockets.osha.gov.


This chapter discusses the history of the Lead in Construction standard, summarizes it major requirements, and describes the reasons OSHA selected the standard for review.

1.1 Background

OSHA set standards for lead exposure in general industry and construction beginning in 1971 under Section 6(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.[3] The original standard set a permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 200 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air (µg/m3), which had to be achieved by engineering and work practice controls.[4] OSHA later revised the general industry standard in 1978 by lowering the PEL to 50 µg/m3 and adding provisions that required employers to provide medical surveillance, medical removal protection (MRP), hygiene facilities, appropriate respirators, and air monitoring, among other things.[5] The 1978 standard also excluded the construction industry from its coverage, because insufficient information was available to resolve issues about application of the standard to the construction industry.[6]

In 1993, OSHA issued an interim final rule for lead in construction,[7] as a result of a Congressional mandate in Title X[8] of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992.[9] Congress mandated the Lead in Construction standard to ensure that OSHA's lead regulations would be as protective of construction employees as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lead guidelines and the OSHA lead standards for general industry.

Even though efforts were made to develop a comprehensive standard regulating occupational exposure to lead in the construction industry, OSHA did not issue a lead standard for the construction industry before Congress enacted Title X.[10] In May of 1993, OSHA issued the interim final rule for lead exposure in construction at 29 CFR 1926.62 (58 FR 26667). That standard is in effect today.

1.2 Description of 29 cfr 1926.62

1.2.1 Applicability


The standard applies to employers engaged in any construction work where an employee may be exposed to lead. Construction work includes all of the following:
  • Original construction
  • Repainting of bridges, industrial structures, or residences, originally painted with lead based paints
  • Alterations and repairs
  • Demolition and salvage
  • Installation of products containing lead
  • Lead abatement activities
  • Transportation, storage, disposal, or containment of lead materials at the construction site
  • Maintenance operations associated with construction activities
The standard, like all OSHA standards, does not apply to self-employed individuals and partnerships with no employees.[11]

1.2.2 Main Requirements

The standard establishes maximum limits of exposure to lead for all employees covered, including a PEL and action level (AL). The PEL sets the maximum employee exposure to lead: 50 µg/m3 averaged over an eight-hour period. If employees are exposed to lead for more than eight hours in a workday, their allowable exposure as a time weighted average (TWA) for that day must be reduced according to this formula:  Allowable employee exposure (in µg/m3) = 400 divided by the hours worked in the day.

The AL, regardless of respirator use, is an airborne concentration of 30 µg/m3, averaged over an eight-hour period. The AL is the level at which an employer must begin specific compliance activities including both employee protection programs and written compliance programs.[12]

An employer whose workplace may be subject to the standard must conduct an initial exposure assessment to determine if any employee could be exposed to lead at or above the action level. The exposure is based on potential exposure if not wearing a respirator. While the initial assessment is being conducted, the employer must provide protective equipment, hand-washing facilities, biological monitoring, and training to any employee sanding, scraping, heating, or power cleaning any surface with lead-based paint (LBP), spray painting LBP, or using lead-containing mortar.  The initial assessment is to be based on measurements of employee exposures. Additional assessments must be conducted if work practices change in ways that could increase exposures.

When the initial assessment indicates that lead exposures are likely to occur, the employer must implement work practices and controls to reduce exposures to below the PEL if feasible. The employer must have a written compliance program, which must be revised every six months. The written compliance programs must be reviewed and updated at least annually and must include:
  • A description of each activity in which lead is emitted (such as equipment used, material involved, controls in place, crew size, employee job responsibilities, operating procedures, and maintenance practices).
  • The means to be used to achieve compliance and engineering plans and studies used to determine the engineering controls selected where they are required.
  • Information on the technology considered to meet the PEL.
  • Air monitoring data that document the source of lead emissions.
  • A detailed schedule for implementing the program, including copies of documentation (such as purchase orders for equipment, construction contracts).
  • A work practice program.
  • An administrative control schedule, if applicable (administrative controls may include job rotation).
  • Arrangements made among contractors on multi-contractor sites to inform employees of potential lead exposure.[13]
Employees must use respirators when exposures could exceed the PEL. The employer must provide, at no cost to the employees, protective work clothing and equipment to protect the employee and his or her clothing. The employer must clean or dispose (as appropriate) of the protective clothing. The employer must also inform any person cleaning or laundering the clothing of the hazards of lead.

The standard requires that all surfaces be maintained as free as practicable of lead dust. Vacuums must be equipped with HEPA filters. The employer must ensure that employees do not smoke, eat, drink, or apply cosmetics in areas where employee exposure to lead exceeds the PEL. The employer must provide a clean change area for changing clothes and, if feasible, showers. The employer must also provide eating areas that are as free as practicable of lead dust and ensure that employees wash their hands before eating.

The employer must make available to any employees exposed above the action level medical surveillance in the form of blood sampling and analysis, medical exams and consultations, and multiple physician reviews. Employers must remove employees with blood lead levels (BLLs) that exceed 50 mg/dL and allow them to return to their former jobs when their BLL is at or below 40 mg/dL.

The employer must provide employees with information and training on lead hazards and safe practices and post warning signs in working areas. The employer must retain records of the initial assessment, monitoring results, medical surveillance, and medical removals.

1.3 Reasons for Review

At the time OSHA was required to promulgate the standard, OSHA had data on exposure levels from construction work, but limited data on blood lead levels (BLLs) in the construction employees. Manufacturing employees who were exposed to lead at the levels measured during some construction activities suffered from serious health effects. These employees, however, were exposed to lead at these levels on a daily basis over a period of years. The data were applicable to some construction employees who were exposed over an extended period of time, usually on large industrial construction projects, and were supported by some case studies of lead diseases in industrial construction employees. There were not, however, studies of construction employees with low or intermittent exposures.

Since the promulgation of the standard, NIOSH and many States have collected data on adult BLLs; in 2002, States began to report the data disaggregated by industrial sector. Because of the concern with childhood lead exposures, other Federal and State agencies have studied or funded studies that measured exposures and BLLs in residential and other building renovation, painting, and demolition. In addition, HUD conducted a survey of the presence of lead in the U.S. housing stock that revised its 1990 estimates of the number of units with lead and lead hazards substantially downwards.

Finally, in 2002, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sought public suggestions for federal regulations that should be reviewed. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recommended that the lead in construction standard be reviewed. The NAHB stated that the original standard was promulgated as an interim final rule, which did not provide an opportunity for comment or examination of data on employee exposures, particularly for residential construction and renovation/remodeling. They stated that little evidence was available to support the applicability of a lead standard to the construction industry when the rule was issued. They further noted that LBP was banned from residential construction in 1978. They also stated that the impact on small entities was substantial.

Although not all of these assertions may be supported, OSHA decided to review the standard to determine whether modifications to the standard could be made that would reduce the burden without lessening employee protections.

1.4 Organization of the Report

The report is organized as follows:
  • Chapter 2 discusses the health effects of lead exposure, based on a toxicological profile of lead developed by the Agency for Toxics Substances and Disease Registry, and presents data on the levels of lead to which construction employees may be exposed from various activities.
  • Chapter 3 describes the industry sectors most likely to conduct activities that would trigger compliance with the standard and estimates the number of employees who may be exposed.
  • Chapter 4 discusses other regulations that apply to lead in construction and a voluntary industry standard that covers lead removal projects.
  • Chapter 5 reviews the data on lead exposures and elevated BLLs in industrial construction and renovation and remodeling activities and assesses the likelihood of exposure.
  • Chapter 6 reviews OSHA compliance data on the standard.
  • Chapter 7 discusses the cost of compliance with the standard for the major sectors affected.
  • Chapter 8 presents the Section 610 and EO 12866 findings and the public comments.
  • Chapter 9 presents conclusions.


This chapter discusses the characteristics and hazards of lead, the uses of lead in construction, and the potential levels of lead exposure. The discussion of lead hazards is adapted from the draft 2005 toxicological profile of lead prepared by the Agency for Toxics Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR), part of the Centers for Disease Control.[14] The ASTDR profile was used as a basis for this summary because the peer-reviewed updated profile includes a comprehensive review and assessment of the research on the exposure routes, absorption, and health effects of lead.

2.1 Lead

Lead is a naturally occurring metallic element with multiple uses. Its most important use is in the production of some types of batteries.  It is also used in the production of ammunition, in some kinds of metal products (such as sheet lead, solder, some brass and bronze products, and pipes), and in ceramic glazes.  In 2003, 84.2 percent of lead consumed in the U.S. was for storage batteries, 3.5 percent for ammunition, 2.6 percent for oxides (paints, glazes, pigments, chemicals), 2.3 percent for casting metals, and 1.7 percent for sheet lead (used in building construction, tanks, process vessels, and medical radiation shields).[15]

Chemicals containing lead were used as gasoline additives to increase octane rating, but their use was phased out in the 1980s; lead in gasoline was banned beginning January 1, 1996.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of lead solder in plumbing and plumbing repairs in 1988.  The amount of lead added to ceramic products, caulking, and solder has been reduced in recent years.

For house painting, white lead (a lead oxide) was used in paint as a "hiding" pigment.  In addition to preventing the sun's damaging rays from hitting the surface of the substrate, the white lead helped prevent the growth of mold and mildew.  In the early 20th century, titanium dioxide (TiO2) came into use as a substitute for lead in house paints, but did not come into prevalent use by itself until the mid-20th century (earlier in the century, titanium oxide and white lead were often mixed).[16] Lead-based paint (LBP) was used as a base coat for structural steel to prevent corrosion.  Lead in paint used on consumer products and residences was banned in 1978. LBP used on structural steel also began to be phased out in the late 1970s,[17] but its use has not been banned.

2.2 Lead Exposure Routes

Lead exposures occur through inhalation and ingestion. Lead inhalation, the most common exposure route for construction employees, occurs from breathing in dust or fumes that contain lead.  Once lead is inhaled into the lungs, it goes quickly to other parts of the body in the blood.

Most adult lead exposure occurs when lead dust is transferred to food or liquids the person is consuming, to cigarettes the person is smoking, or to cosmetics the person is using.[18] Young children are more likely than adults to be exposed through ingestion, particularly when they play in areas where the soil is contaminated with lead or where lead-based paint chips exist. Very little of the lead ingested actually enters the blood and other parts of the body.  The amount that gets into the body from the stomach partially depends on when the person ate the last meal.  It also depends on age and how well the lead particles dissolved in the stomach juices.  Experiments using adult volunteers showed that, for adults who had just eaten, the amount of lead that got into the blood from the stomach was only about 6 percent of the total amount taken in.  In adults who had not eaten for a day, about 60-80 percent of the lead from the stomach got into their blood.  In general, if adults and children swallow the same amount of lead, a higher proportion of the lead swallowed will enter the blood in children than in adults.[19]

When lead enters the blood it travels to the "soft tissues" (e.g., the liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, spleen, muscles, and heart).  After several weeks, most of the lead moves into the bones and teeth.  In adults, about 94 percent of the total amount of lead in the body is contained in the bones and teeth.  About 73 percent of the lead in children's bodies is stored in their bones.  Some of the lead can stay in the bones for decades; however, lead can leave the bones and reenter the blood and organs under certain circumstances. For example, employees who have been exposed to lead for several years and then have their exposures and blood leads reduced, will have lead leach back from their bones into their blood, increasing the time it takes to reduce blood lead levels. This can also happen during pregnancy and periods of breast feeding, after a bone is broken, and during advancing age.

The body does not change lead into any other form. Under conditions of continued exposure, not all the lead that enters the body will be eliminated, and this may result in accumulation of lead in body tissues, notably bone.[20] Older Americans (60 years old or more) generally have the highest blood lead levels (BLLs) of any age cohort, but their level has declined over time as have the levels of all age groups. In 1999, the geometric mean BLL ranged from 1.1 μg/dL (6-19 year olds) to 2.2 μg/dL (60+ year olds).[21]

2.3 Health Effects of Lead Exposure

The effects of lead are the same whether it enters the body through inhalation or ingestion. The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system, both in adults and in children.

Mortality. The ATSDR profile concluded that the information available suggests a potential association between lead exposure and cerebrovascular disease, but that there is no information from studies in animals that would support or refute the existence of a possible association between lead exposure and mortality due to cerebrovascular disease.  Studies of lead employees suggest that long-term exposure to lead may be associated with increased mortality due to cerebrovascular disease.[22]

Cancer.   The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that lead and lead compounds are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens based on limited evidence from studies in humans and sufficient evidence from animal studies. EPA has determined that lead is a probable human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence from studies in animals and inadequate evidence in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that inorganic lead is probably carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence from studies in animals and limited evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans. IARC also determined that organic lead compounds are not classifiable as to their carcinogenicity in humans based on inadequate evidence from studies in humans and animals.[23]

Cardiovascular Effects. ATSDR stated that bone lead appears to be a better predictor of lead-induced elevations in blood pressure than BLLs. Meta-analyses of epidemiological findings have found a persistent trend that supports a relatively weak, but significant association between lead and increased blood pressure; this association amounts to an increase of 1 mmHg in systolic blood pressure for each doubling of blood lead.[24]

A study published in September 2006 determined the association between BBLs below 10 µg/dL and mortality in the general U.S. population.[25] This study found an association between BBLs and increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality at BBLs substantially lower than previously reported.[26] "Blood lead level was significantly associated with both myocardial infarction and stroke mortality, and the association was evident at levels >0.10 µmol/L (≥2µg/dL)."[27] Furthermore, this study concluded that "despite the marked decrease in blood lead levels over the past 3 decades, environmental lead exposures remain a significant determinant of cardiovascular mortality ...."[28]

Neurological Effects. ATSDR reported that neurobehavioral effects including malaise, forgetfulness, irritability, lethargy, headache, fatigue, impotence, decreased libido, dizziness, weakness, and paresthesia have been reported in lead employees with BLLs in the range of 40-80 μg/dL. BLLs between 40 and 80 μg/dL have been associated with neuropsychological effects in lead employees.  Studies of older populations with current mean BLLs <10 μg/dL have reported associations between BLL or bone lead and poorer performance in neurobehavioral tests.  Lead also has been shown to affect nerve conduction velocity and postural balance in employees with BLL in the range of 30- 60 μg/dL. Alterations of somatosensory evoked potentials also have been reported in lead employees with mean BLLs in the range of 30-50 μg/dL.[29]

Systemic Effects. Changes in circulating thyroid hormones generally occur in employees who have BLLs of 40-60 mg/dL. Altered immune parameters have been found in lead employees with BLLs between 30-70 mg/dL. Exposure to high amounts of lead resulting in BLLs of 100-120 μg/dL in adults or 70-100 μg/dL in children produce encephalopathy, a general term that describes various diseases that affect brain function. Symptoms develop following prolonged exposure and include dullness, irritability, poor attention span, epigastric pain, constipation, vomiting, convulsions, coma, and death.  Lead poisoning in children can leave residual cognitive deficits that can be still detected in adulthood.[30]

Colic is a consistent early symptom of lead poisoning. Although the gastrointestinal symptoms usually occur at BLLs of 100 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL, they have been noted in employees with BLLs as low as 40-60 mg/dL. Anemia is also associated with elevated BLLs; the threshold BLL is estimated to be 50 mg/dL for a decrease in hemoglobin.[31]

The overall dose-effect pattern suggests an increasing severity of nephrotoxicity associated with increasing BLL, with effects on filtration rate at BLLs below 10 mg/dL and severe deficits in function and pathological changes occurring with BLLs above 50 mg/dL.[32]

Reproductive Effects. ATSDR reported that some studies of humans occupationally or environmentally exposed to lead have observed associations between BLL and abortion and pre-term delivery in women and alterations in sperm and decreased fertility in men. On the other hand, there are several studies that found no significant association between lead exposure and these end points. At least for the effects in males, the threshold BLL appears to be in the range of 30-40 μg/dL.[33]

Effects on Children. Children are more sensitive to the effects of lead than adults.  Lead affects children in different ways depending how much lead a child swallows.  A child who swallows large amounts of lead will develop blood anemia, kidney damage, colic, muscle weakness, and brain damage, which can kill the child.  If a child swallows smaller amounts of lead, much less severe effects on blood and brain function may occur.  In this case, recovery is likely once the child is removed from the source of lead exposure and the amount of lead in the child's body is lowered by giving the child certain drugs that help eliminate lead from the body.  At still lower levels of exposure, lead can affect a child's mental and physical growth.  Fetuses exposed to lead in the womb may be born prematurely and have lower weights at birth.  Exposure in the womb, in infancy, or in early childhood may also slow mental development and lower intelligence later in childhood.  There is evidence that some effects may persist beyond childhood.[34]

BLLs. The BLL at which health impacts occur varies. ATSDR stated that epidemiological studies and clinical observations provide evidence for a progression of adverse health effects of lead in humans that occur in association with BLLs ranging from <10 μg/dL to >60 μg/dL. At the low end of the blood lead concentration range, adverse effects include delays and/or impaired development of the nervous system, delayed sexual maturation, neurobehavioral effects, increased blood pressure, depressed renal glomerular filtration rate, and inhibition of pathways in heme synthesis. Although fewer studies have examined associations between health outcomes and bone lead concentrations, recent studies provide evidence for adverse effects occurring in association with bone lead concentrations in excess of 10 μg/g (e.g., cardiovascular/renal, neurobehavioral effects).

The timing of exposure, in addition to the exposure intensity, appears to be an important variable in the exposure-response relationship for lead.  Exposures that occur during pre- and postnatal development, which result in BLLs of 10 μg/dL or less, produce delays or impairments of neurological and sexual development. Cognitive deficits, hypertension, and depressed kidney filtration rate have been observed in older adults (>60 years and/or post-menopause) in association with BLLs <10 μg/dL. This may reflect a higher vulnerability with age or the effects of cumulative lifetime exposures that are less evident in younger populations that have lower time-integrated exposures. [35]

ATSDR noted that ACGIH considers BLL above 10 μg/dL to be excessive for women of child-bearing age. ACGIH set the biological exposure index for exposed employees at 30 μg/dL. ATSDR indicated that BLL measurements have limitations as a measure of lead body burden.
... PbB [BLL] can change relatively rapidly (e.g., weeks) in response to changes in exposure; thus, PbB can be influenced by short-term variability in exposure that may have only minor effects on lead body burden. A single blood lead determination cannot distinguish between lower-level intermediate or chronic exposure and higher-level acute exposure. Similarly, a single measurement may fail to detect a higher exposure that occurred (or ended) several months earlier. Time-integrated measurements of PbB may provide a means for accounting for some of these factors and thereby provide a better measure of long-term exposure....[36]
2.4 Lead Exposures in Construction

Employees in the construction industry may be exposed to lead in several forms:
  • Lead itself is used on some electrical and elevator cables and on cast-iron soil pipe installation.
  • Removing old lead paint and rust from bridges and other industrial structures.
  • Renovating, remodeling, or repainting pre 1978 houses and buildings.
  • Lead remediation.
  • Lead solder is used in some industrial construction.
  • Lead-containing mortar is used in some tanks.
  • Pure lead and lead products, including lead panels (drywall/plywood), lead bricks, and lead shot, are used for shielding numerous military, industrial, research, and medical radiation sources.
  • Stained-glass windows may contain lead.
  • Lead use as a component in paint.[37]
The use of lead on cables and pipes, the use of lead solder, and the removal of stain-glass windows do not usually require prolonged exposure to lead because the operations are relatively brief; employees, however, may be exposed repeatedly. Work with lead mortar and lead panels may result in exposures over extended periods of time. For industrial construction, however, the primary source of high and prolonged lead exposures is paint removal and repair or demolition of structural steel bridges where LBP was used as a primer and protection against corrosion on structures exposed to the weather or other corrosive elements. The use of LBP for industrial purposes is still allowed, but its actual use was partially phased out of bridge and other industrial painting beginning in the mid to late 1970s.[38] The LBP used prior to that point, however, was as much as 40 percent lead.[39]

The percentage of lead in LBP used in residential and commercial buildings was as high as 20 percent prior to 1920, but the percentage began to decline as substitutes were found.[40] In the 1950s, paint manufacturers voluntarily limited residential LBP to one percent lead.[41] (As discussed in Chapter 5, most housing units built prior to 1978 do not have LBP.) LBP was banned for residential use in 1978 and lead solder in plumbing was banned in 1988.[42] Because the exposures to old lead-solder during plumbing repairs are generally brief, the primary sources of high lead exposures for residential and commercial construction involve preparation for repainting, renovation, remodeling, and lead abatement work on structures that were built before 1978 and contain LBP.

The hazard to employees of lead exposures depends on the level of lead to which an employee is exposed, the length of that exposure, and the frequency of exposures. OSHA has estimated the 8-hour TWA exposure levels for certain construction activities as shown in Table 2-1. Employees would not necessarily engage in each of these activities for 8 hours at a time. For example, enclosure movement and removal generally takes less than an hour. In contrast, abrasive blasting could be done over extended periods of time.

The activities listed in the two higher TWA columns in Table 2-1 are generally limited to industrial uses of lead on bridges and other industrial structures. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has measured ambient lead levels inside of containment during abrasive blasting between 2,000 mg/m3 and 50,000 mg/m3. Where there is insufficient ventilation, FHWA reports that levels exceed 50,000 mg/m3.[43] A limited study conducted in California on hot cutting of stripped versus unstripped steel on a bridge produced exposure levels of 670 mg/m3 versus 30,000 mg/m3.[44]

Table 2-1: Lead-Related Construction Tasks and Their Presumed 8-Hour TWA Exposure Levels
> 50 mg/m3 to 500 mg/m3 > 500 mg/m3 to 2,500 mg/m3 > 2,500 mg/m3
Manual demolition Using lead-containing mortar Abrasive blasting
Dry manual scraping Lead burning Welding
Dry manual sanding Rivet busting Torch cutting
Heat gun use Power tool cleaning without dust collection systems Torch burning
Power tool cleaning with dust collection systems Cleanup of dry expendable abrasive blasting jobs  
Spray painting with LBP Abrasive blasting enclosure movement and removal  
Source: OSHA Technical Manual, Chapter 3.

A study conducted for EPA measured lead exposures for various renovation and remodeling activities and confirmed the general ranges OSHA estimated for paint removal and demolition. The study also estimated the hours of activity that would result in an estimated geometric mean 8-hour TWA of 50 mg/m3. Table 2-2 presents the data. Surface preparation consists of a variety of activities including wet and dry scraping and sanding and feathering of edges.

Table 2-2: Mean Exposures and Time Required to Reach 8-hour TWA for Renovation and Remodeling Activities
  Number of Employees Monitored Estimated Geometric Mean Exposure (mg/m3) Hours of Activity to Reach a Mean 8-Hour TWA of 50 mg/m3
Sanding - power 3 571 42 minutes
Sawing into wood 6 546 44 minutes
Sanding - hand 6 254 1 hr 34 min
Sawing into plaster 2 110 3 hr 38 min
Demolition 20 108 3 hr 42 min
Surface prep - interior 31 58.2 6 hr 52 min
HVAC work 4 49.6 8 hr
Drilling into wood 7 15.10 > 8 hr
Carpet removal 14 7.54 > 8 hr
Window replacement 8 7.48 > 8 hr
Drilling into plaster 6 6.76 > 8 hr
Surface prep - exterior 38 4.33 > 8 hr
Source: Lead Exposures Associated with Renovation and Remodeling Activities, January 2000, prepared by Battelle for U.S. EPA.

An earlier California study of exterior residential and commercial painters measured both 30-minute lead exposures (58 samples) and full-shift, task-specific samples (25 samples) at 11 jobs sites for 25 different employees. The measurements focused on activities with higher exposure potential. Table 2-3 presents the 30-minute exposures by work method; Table 2-4 presents the exposures by percentage of lead in paint and work method.

Table 2-3: 30-Minute Lead Exposures by Work Method (mg/m3)[45]

Work Method # Employees Measured mg/m3
Range Arithmetic Mean Geometric Mean
Heat gun 6 <1 - 5 2.3  
Wet sanding 3 <1 - 7 3.3  
Open flame burning 5 <4 - 20 9.8  
HEPA-exhausted power sanding 7 4 - 60 33 23
Dry Scraping 18 <4 - 230 71 38
Dry manual sanding 9 29 - 1,200 420 220
Uncontrolled power sanding 10 65 - 3,400 580 220
Source: Residential and Commercial Painters' Exposure to Lead during Surface Preparation.

Table 2-4: Mean and Total 30-Minute Lead Exposures (mg/m3) by Percentage Lead in Paint and Work Method

Work Method Bulk Lead Paint Concentration
mg/m3
Total Dust Exposures
(mg/m3)
(n)
0-9.9%
(n)
10-19.9%
(n)
20-45%
(n)
HEPA-exhausted power sanding 24 (2) 52 (2) 26 (3) 1,600 (7)
Dry Scraping 25 (6) 94 (12)   1,100 (17)
Dry manual sanding 53 (3) 600 (6)   6,700 (9)
Uncontrolled power sanding 97 (4) 900 (6)   14,000 (10)
Source: Residential and Commercial Painters' Exposure to Lead during Surface Preparation.

The California study reported that the 25 full-shift samples, when calculated as 8-hr. time-weighted averages (8-hr. TWAs), ranged from 0.8 to 550 mg/m3.  The arithmetic mean was 57 mg/m3, above the OSHA PEL.  Six of the 25 samples (24 percent) were above the PEL.  All six of the samples that exceeded the PEL represented work shifts that involved dry manual sanding or uncontrolled power sanding, whereas only 9 of the 19 sample results below the PEL represented work shifts that involved use of these methods.  The two highest full-shift air samples (310 and 550 mg/m3) were the result of dry manual sanding on a surface that tested 18 percent lead and contained detectable lead in the top layer of paint. The study concluded that painters' airborne lead exposures depend both on the surface preparation method being used and the amount of lead in the paint. The "dustier" the surface preparation method and the higher the concentration of lead in the paint, the higher the airborne lead exposure will be.[46]

2.5 Other Sources of Lead Exposure

Between 1976 and 1991, the mean BLLs of the U.S. population aged from 1 to 74 years dropped from 12.8 to 2.8 μg/dL. The prevalence of BLLs ≥10 μg/dL also decreased sharply from 77.8 to 4.3 percent. ATSDR stated that the major cause of the observed decline in PbBs is most likely the removal of 99.8 percent of lead from gasoline and the removal of lead from soldered cans. By the 1999-2002 survey, the geometric mean of BLLs for people between 20 and 59 was 1.5 μg/dL (2.0 for men, 1.2 for women); for people over 59, the mean was higher (2.2 μg/dL).[47]

Despite the overall decline, employees may be exposed to lead from non-occupational sources, which may increase their risk from occupational exposures. ATSDR stated that exposure to lead above levels that naturally occur in soil or dust is common. Some of the most important non-occupational exposures occur as a result of living in urban environments, especially near stationary emission sources such as smelters; consumption of produce from family gardens; home renovation; eating dirt when a child; smoking; and wine consumption. Smelters and other manufacturing plants may emit lead into the air; utilities and some manufacturing sectors also release lead and lead compounds to water. Lead used in shot and sinkers has been found to contaminate water. Flaking and powdered LBP is present in soils around houses and can be taken up by edible plants.

Lead has been found in some dietary supplements; ATSDR reported that many non-Western folk remedies contain substantial amounts of lead. CDC has reported on lead poisoning from Mexican fruit candy and an Iraqi powder used to color rice and meat. Lead may leach from lead crystal decanters and glasses. A 1977 study found lead in cigarettes; ATSDR noted that although there are no recent studies of lead in tobacco, higher levels of lead in indoor air are associated with households with smokers. Hair dyes and some cosmetics also contain lead, which can be transferred to hands and food. Lead ammunition may result in exposures at levels up to 1,000 mg/m3 at discharge. Soil lead concentrations at shooting ranges have been found to be 10 to 100 times greater than background levels. Illegal moonshine, made in stills composed of lead-soldered parts, has been found to have high lead levels.[48]

Exposure may also result from hobbies that use lead. For example, molten lead can be used in casting ammunition and making fishing weights or toy soldiers; leaded solder is used in making stained glass; leaded glazes and frits are used in making pottery; artists' paints may contain lead; lead compounds are used as coloring agents in glassblowing; and lead may be present in platinum printing and screen printing materials.[49]

2.6 Conclusion

Exposure to excessive levels of lead can lead to elevated BLLs and cause serious health effects and mortality. Further, a recently published study of the general, U.S. adult population reports increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality at BBLs substantially lower than previously reported [i.e., increased mortality at BBLs >0.10 µmol/L (≥2µg/dL)].[50]

Acute effects from short-term spikes in BLLs may be reversible if the exposure ends and the BLLs fall, although research on the effects of short-term increases is limited. Some effects of chronically elevated BLLs, however, may be irreversible. Many of the studies of occupational lead health effects are generally based on employees in sectors where employees were exposed over a number of years (3 to 20+ years), but some are based on shorter exposures in construction. They indicate that the most severe health effects occur when BLLs exceed 40 mg/dL, although there is considerable individual variation on when symptoms begin and some effects occur at 10 mg/dL. These studies are applicable to construction employees, though the impacts may be less for intermittent exposures.

Construction employees are susceptible to the health effects of lead exposure depending on the level of exposure and the length of that exposure. Measurements indicate that the level of exposure in construction work can be very high, particularly for industrial construction employees and for indoor painters who prepare surfaces covered with lead paint for repainting. Chapter 5 further discusses the data on these exposures.

Occupational lead exposures not only present health risks to exposed employees, these exposures also present health risks to exposed employees' families when these exposed employees bring lead home on their clothes. Children are particularly at risk because children are far more susceptible to lead poisoning, experiencing more serious effects at much lower BLLs. Studies have found that when construction employees are exposed to lead, they are likely to carry enough lead home to cause elevated BLLs in their children; carrying lead dust home also results in continuing exposures for the employees. Furthermore, work involving lead-based paint on buildings can result in long-term lead exposures for the occupants if the lead dust is not adequately removed at the end of a project.




This chapter describes the sectors affected by the lead in construction standard. After a general discussion of the construction industry, the chapter reviews OSHA citation data to identify the sectors most likely to be affected by the standard. The rest of the chapter focuses on the sectors most likely to be exposed to lead. For each of these sectors, the discussion covers the type of work involved, size of the sector, in terms of number of firms and employees, the value of the work, and the frequency of lead work.

3.1 Construction Industry

3.1.1 Overview


In 2002, the construction industry had 710,000 establishments employing about 7.2 million employees, about 5.3 million of whom were construction employees. In addition, the construction industry includes about 2.1 million self-employed independent contractors.[51]

Construction work is generally divided into sectors: building contractors - residential building (single family and multifamily) and commercial/office/institutional buildings; heavy construction - industrial buildings (manufacturing facilities), highways, bridges, and tunnels, pipelines, power lines, industrial nonbuilding (e.g., tanks); and specialty trade contractors (painters, electricians, plumbers, etc.). This report uses the phrases "industrial construction" and "industrial painting" to refer to heavy construction work. Table 3-1 presents data from the Bureau of Census 2002 Construction Census on the number of establishments, construction employees, and self-employed employees for three general sectors and the main specialty trade contractors likely to be affected by the lead standard. Lead abatement employees are not included on the table because they are classified in the waste and remediation sector (NAICS code 56291). They will, however, continue to be subject to §1926.62. Overall, employees in the construction industry represent about seven percent of the total U.S. workforce and about 6.4 percent of paid employees.

Table 3-1: Number of Firms and Employees in the Construction Industry
  Estab. Total Employees Construction Employees Self-Employed Total Construction Employees and Self Employed % Self Employed
All Construction 710,307 7,193,069 5,317,758 2,071,317 7,389,075 28%
Building Contractors 211,845 1,669,391 1,067,794 466,035 1,533,829 30%
Renovation Remodelers 82,750 320,208 207,637 NA    
Heavy Construction 49,826 1,143,246 870,569 65,917 936,486 7%
Specialty Trade 448,636 4,380,432 3,379,394 1,539,365 4,918,759 31%
Painting 39,025 232,489 182,454 222,841* 405,295 55%
Masonry 25,763 256,634 217,735 152,001* 369,736 41%
Drywall 19,644 295,730 247,522 **    
Carpenters Finishing 35,094 171,836 122,460 403,806* 526,266 77%
Plumbers 87,936 954,095 696,890 110,183 807,073 14%
* 2001 Economic Survey, U.S. Census.
** Included in masonry figures
Source: 2002 Economic Census, U.S. Census.

The total value of construction was approximately $861 billion in 2002 and $898 billion in 2003.[52] Construction spending represents about eight percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Table 3-2 presents the distribution of construction spending by type of construction.

Table 3-2: 2003 Construction Spending by Type of Construction
($000,000)
  Total % of Total
Residential $471,789 53%
Commercial/Institutional (health care, education, religious, public safety, amusement) $248,684 28%
Communication/Power (buildings, distribution, storage) $51,720 6%
Transportation (airports, rail, mass transit, marine) $24,227 3%
Highway and Street (roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings) $61,877 7%
Water and Waste Systems (buildings, stations, pipelines, tanks) $22,189 2%
Manufacturing (buildings including offices at manufacturing sites, manufacturing plants) $14,076 2%
Conservation and development (dams, breakwaters, fisheries, dredging) $3,734 0.4%
Total $898,296  
Source: http://www.census.gov/const/www/c30index.html

Construction firms are generally very small, in terms of the number of employees. Table 3-3 shows the percentage of firms in the three divisions of the industry with varying numbers of full-time employees (FTEs).[53]

Table 3-3: Distribution of Construction Firms by Employee Number, 2001
# of FTE Building Contractors Heavy Construction Specialty Trades
1-4 67% 46% 57%
5-9 18% 20% 21%
10-19 9% 14% 12%
20-99 6% 16% 9%
100+ 1% 4% 1%
Source: 2002 Economic Census, U.S. Census.

Two other general characteristics of the construction industry are relevant to this study. In 2005, the construction sector had an annual employee turnover rate of about 65 percent.[54] One commenter to the docket on this study reported that a large residential construction firm with 2,500 employees issued W-2s to more than 8,000 employees in a recent year. A study of 450 union construction employees found that the mean number of employers that the employees had had in the previous year varied from 1.4 for painters to 3.2 for laborers and iron workers, with the range being 1 to 12 employers.[55] Although some specialty trades are highly skilled, others require little or no training and are often entry level jobs that employees do to gain experience before moving on to better paid and less physically difficult work. Part of the high turnover rate is also probably the result of a second characteristic of the work, which is its seasonality. Although most interior construction work can occur year round, work that must be done outdoors is constrained by the weather. Extreme heat or cold, high winds, high humidity as well as precipitation can delay work. In 2003, the construction sector as a whole employed 700,000 more production employees in August than it had in February, a 116 percent increase. The percentage variation was generally lower in non-residential building and interior work, such as drywall and electrical, and much higher for other sectors. Table 3-4 shows the percent of the high month (usually July or August) to the low month (usually February or March) for selected sectors.

Table 3-4: 2003 Variation in Employment by Sector
Sector Employees
(High Month/Low Month)
Sector Employees
(High Month/Low Month)
Construction Total 116% Power Systems 106%
General Contracting 110% Highway, Street, Bridge 166%
New Residential 113% Specialty Trades 116%
R&R 114% Masonry 127%
Non Residential 107% Roofing 139%
Industrial Building 107% Electrical 107%
Commercial Building 109% Drywall 107%
Heavy Construction 128% Painting 129%
Utility 116% Flooring 112%
Oil/gas Pipeline 123% Tile 183%
Source: BLS, Current Employment Statistics, production employees for NAICS code 23.

3.1.2 Sectors Unlikely to Be Subject to the standard

The lead standard applies to construction work where the employees could be exposed to lead. In practice, the majority of construction employees have little or no exposure to lead. Because, in 1978, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of lead-based paint (LBP) in residential construction and on any surface that consumers are likely to be exposed to (office, store, institutional interiors) and in 1988, EPA banned the use of lead in plumbing, new residential building construction will not generally be subject to the standard because lead-containing materials should not be used. The use of LBP on structural steel industrial construction, such as bridges and tanks, began to be phased out in the late 1970s. Work on most new industrial construction will also not involve LBP although lead solder may still be used on some industrial structures.

As discussed in Chapter 2, a limited number of activities involving structures painted with LBP prior to 1979 create enough lead dust to expose employees to significant levels unless the activities continue for extended periods. Unless they spend most of their time on older (pre-1950) buildings, most specialty trade contractors, such as electricians, plumbers, flooring installers, and masons, may be exposed to lead dust relatively infrequently. As discussed in detail in Chapter 5, about 25 percent of all housing units have LBP. These percentages decline each year as new houses are added to the housing stock, older units are demolished, and lead abatement occurs. The existence of LBP in commercial and institutional buildings has not been studied to the same degree, but the age distribution of these buildings is very similar to the age distribution of housing units.[56] Although the percentages are declining, they represent more than 20 million housing units.

Most specialty trade contractors engage in few, if any, activities that disturb LBP or old pipes with lead solder, where they exist. When those activities occur, such as removing an old pipe, cutting into a wall to add an electrical outlet, or removing old wiring that includes lead, the activities take only a few minutes. Even removal of old windows, the housing element most likely to be coated with LBP and to have significant deterioration of the paint, is unlikely to result in prolonged employee exposure to high levels of lead dust because the removal takes only a few minutes.

Another factor for specialty trade employees is the length of each job. Some of the trades work at multiple job sites each day (plumbers, electricians, window installers). Others may spend from a part of a day to several days per job (roofers, flooring, carpenters, masonry). The length of time at any one location will depend on the type of job and size of the building unit being repaired. Although residential work will generally take less time than commercial or institutional work, there may be very short jobs at commercial sites and longer term work at residences where major reconstruction is being done.

Compliance with § 1926.62 is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 6, but the compliance data are useful to identify sectors most likely to be affected by the standard. Table 3-5 presents the number of inspections in which the standard was cited from 1993 to 2003 (the first and last years do not cover 12 months of data). The table also presents the number of establishments and construction employees in each sector at the end of 1997. The data indicate that the standard applies mainly to a subset of construction sectors, focusing heavily on painters, general contractors (which included renovation and remodeling), lead abatement, and certain industrial uses. The standard has also been cited at non-construction sites (e.g., hospitals, universities, manufacturers, and real estate management). These inspections presumably involve construction work being carried out by employees of the firms; violations by non-construction firms represent about 8 percent of all violations.

Table 3-5: 1993-2003 Inspections and Violations by Industry Sector
SIC SIC Description Inspections Violations Establishments Construction Employees
1721 Painting 1,365 4,623 37,480 160,740
1799 Paint removal, lead abatement* 810 1,867    
1795 Demolition 500 1,398 1,542 14,486
1542 Other Buildings 344 678 37,430 359,981
1622 Bridge, Tunnel, Elevated highway 202 657 1,177 38,201
1521 General Contractor- Single Family 103 320 138,850 367,719
1522 General Contractor- Multi Family 162 282 7,544 40,082
1629 Heavy Construction, nec. 122 277 18,236 171,254
1541 Industrial and Warehouse Construction 138 264 7,280 107,180
1741 Masonry 86 225 49,917 407,700
1791 Structural Steel Erection 73 199 4,238 59,923
1611 Highway and Street Construction 105 194 11,270 227,066
1711 Plumbing 150 145 84,876 599,940
1796 Building Equipment (elevators) 53 105 4,489 56,211
1731 Electrical 56 92 61,414 510,921
1761 Roofing 40 74 30,557 197,294
1751 Carpentry 46 69 44,858 185,610
1623 Pipes 29 39 8,042 134,023
* These activities are now divided between painting and remediation.
** 1997 Census data are by NAICS code; no NAICS code corresponds to this SIC code.

The largest number of the violations of the standard (about 41 percent) are for failing to conduct the initial assessment or to provide protection for employees during the initial assessment.  This pattern is particularly true for the major non-construction sites, where paragraph (d) has been cited at least once for every inspection.

3.1.3 Sectors Likely to Be Subject to the standard

General building contractors that do remodeling and renovation work are likely to be subject to the standard if that work involves removing and replacing older parts of a structure (e.g., for remodeled kitchen and bathrooms or for additions) or repainting areas that have been previously covered with LBP.

Lead and lead-containing mortar are still used in limited circumstances in the heavy construction sector, but the primary concern in industrial construction is the removal of LBP from structural steel bridges. Employees repairing and removing these structures may also be exposed to lead if they are required to cut through elements painted with LBP.

The primary affected specialty trade employees are painters and demolition employees.[57] Lead abatement employees, classified in the waste remediation sector, are also likely to be exposed to LBP. These sectors are discussed in detail in the following sections.

3.2 Heavy Construction

3.2.1 Bridge Painters


Employees who repair and repaint structural steel bridges are the employees most likely to be exposed to LBP because the structures require periodic repainting that usually involves removing the old paint.[58] The size of these structures, the concentration of lead in the paint previously used (up to 40 percent), and rules to prevent releases to the environment result in the potential for prolonged exposures to high levels of lead.

Paint removal is usually accomplished by abrasive blast cleaning, although some removal is done by vacuum blast cleaning, high pressure water jetting, and chemical stripping. Systems are available that combine shrouded tools with power vacuums to almost eliminate dust exposures, but these systems generally are not suitable for bridges and larger structures. Where LBP could be applied to most surfaces, the replacement coatings require very clean surfaces and a surface profile to adhere. The shrouded tool systems do not produce surfaces that meet these requirements.[59] The shrouded tools also take longer to remove paint; one industry expert stated that it would be less expensive to replace a tank than to remove the coating with these tools.[60]  Consequently, abrasive blasting continues to be the main method of removing paint from structural steel.  As discussed in Chapter 2, abrasive blasting produces very high levels of lead dust.

The length of any particular job will depend on the size of the structure.  Work on smaller bridges, such as highway overpasses, are often bundled so that a firm receives a contract to repair and repaint a number of bridges over a season; for example, Monmouth County, New Jersey, let a contract for work on eight bridges. Work on larger bridges may take years to complete; the repair and repainting of the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia is projected to take eight to ten years.[61] Work on bridges is slower than other industrial construction because the work must allow traffic to continue to move. Employees in bridge painting firms are assumed to do the same kind of work and face the same risk of lead exposure each day. The risks to painters may be heightened by environmental regulations; some state and local regulations require that the work be conducted in enclosures to prevent release of lead to the environment (see Chapter 4). These structures can increase employee exposure to lead.

Data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicate that there are about 193,000 structural steel bridges in the U.S.[62] In addition, the Federal Railroad Administration Bridge Safety Survey of 1992-93 estimated that there were about 32,300 metal railroad bridges.[63] In 1993, CDC stated that an estimated 90,000 bridges in the United States were coated with lead-containing paints.[64] Because structural steel bridges repainted since 1993 do not have LBP on them, the total number of bridges with LBP will be less than the 1993 estimate. In addition, some bridges constructed or repainted since the late 1970s when LBP was phased out of bridge coatings are now beginning to be repainted. Consequently, some bridge painting jobs may no longer involve LBP. However, to be conservative, this study assumes that any bridge painting job will involve the removal of LBP. This approach is backed by a study that showed that lead exposures for employees renovating (including paint removal and torch cutting) a previously deleaded bridge were as high as several times the PEL[65]. Because almost all highway bridges are owned by federal, state, or local governments, bridge repair and repainting work is done under contract with government agencies. Many states require that the firms be certified by the Steel Structures Painting Council (SSPC) to conduct this work (see Chapter 4).

The other industrial painters that OSHA originally included in its estimates of potentially affected employees were those that painted water and industrial steel tanks. The number of tanks still coated with LBP is, however, likely to be low. Steven Roetter of Tank Industry Consultants stated that there are about 500,000 industrial and water tanks in the U.S., about of quarter of them municipal water tanks. Less than one percent of the water tanks still have LBP.[66] Industrial tanks may be more likely to have LBP, but if tanks are on average repainted every 20 years, as OSHA estimated in its original economic analysis of the lead in construction standard, virtually all of the tanks will have been repainted since LBP was phased out. Mr. Roetter indicated that the tank industry conducts about 150 abrasive blasting projects a year, with a small percentage of these involving LBP.[67]

To estimate the number of industrial painters, this report uses data from the 2002 Economic Census of Construction, which reported that there were 455 establishments employing about 5,600 painters in firms. This estimate is higher than the number of firms who are certified by SPCC to do bridge work. Some State and local departments of transportation have their own maintenance staff to do some bridge repair. In addition, some of the largest bridges, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, have their own staff handle all repair and maintenance.[68] Consequently, there are some governmental entities that are directly affected by the standard. If these entities are in States with delegated programs, they would be subject to the standard.

Because bridge painting requires substantial equipment and generally a crew of employees, it is assumed that all bridge painters are employees of painting firms. Non-building painting firms are estimated to average 12 employees, 10 of whom are painters.

The average value of construction for bridge painting firms in 2002 was $1.8 million. The data do not allow specific estimates of the percentage of these firms that are small. For the purposes of this study, it is assumed that almost all bridge painters are small entities.

3.2.2 Other Heavy Construction Activities

Lead is also used in the following other industrial construction activities:.
  • Lead caulk is used in industrial construction, such as joining and sealing cast iron soil pipes.
  • Lead is used for electrical cable splicing and elevator rope recabling.[69]
  • Lead solder continues to be used to join metal, but OSHA's technical manual on the standard states that the 8-hour exposures are generally low because of the limited duration of exposures.[70]
  • Lead-containing mortar is used in acid storage and process tanks. The tank linings must be repaired or replaced every three to five years.
  • Lead is used as a shield from radiation; projects include construction of linear accelerators sites, radiology suites, and industrial processing tanks.[71]
  • Some industrial piping may contain lead; older lead pipes are repaired or replaced.
  • While substitutes are widely available and used throughout the United States, some municipalities use lead paint for yellow traffic lines. Exposures are generally low due to the type of equipment used to apply the paint.
The number of employees who may be involved in these activities and exposed to lead is unknown. Table 3-6 presents estimates of the number of construction employees involved in laying pipelines other than water and wastewater pipelines, water pipeline repair, electrical cable lines, industrial tanks and process vessels, general bridge construction and maintenance, and elevators. Elevator construction and repair is a specialty trade, but is included under industrial construction activities because the exposure type is similar to cable work. Bridge construction is included because these firms may engage in maintenance painting rather than hiring specialty painters and may be exposed to lead if they must cut through structural steel; the bridge estimates are based on the assumption that the number of employees working on structural steel bridges is the proportion of all bridge employees as steel bridges are to all bridges (about one third). No estimates are available for construction of lead shields for radiation protection; the original economic analysis in support of the interim final rule in 1993 estimated that 40 employees engaged in this activity. OSHA estimates that there are, potentially, upwards of 1,000 employees potentially involved in traffic painting with lead paint, as described in OSHA's economic analysis for hexavalent chromium.

Table 3-6: Estimated Number of Employees in Sectors with Potential Lead Use in Heavy Construction

  Estimated Number of Construction Employees 1993-2003 Inspections/ Violations
Water line replacement 15,000 N/A
Pipelines other than Water and Sewer 36,000 29/39
Bridge construction and repair 5,300 202/657
Power Cable Lines 54,000 17/39
Elevators 23,000 53/103
Masonry Repair 4,200 87/225
Elevator estimate based on 1997 Economic Census; other estimates based on 2002 Economic Census.

The estimates in Table 3-6 are likely to be high because many employees in these sectors may not be engaged in work that involves lead exposures. Except for bridge construction firms, compliance citations in these sectors are relatively low. The masonry citations are for all masonry work; it is unlikely that most employees specializing in masonry repair work on acid tanks. Elevator cables are recabled only every 10 to 15 years, so most work on elevators does not involve the use of lead. Lead exposures in these sectors, therefore, will be of concern only for a subset of these employees who specialize in activities that involve lead.

3.3 Lead Abatement

Lead abatement specialists are licensed or certified by States or the U.S. EPA to assess the extent of LBP or LBP hazards in structures and to remove or encapsulate the LBP. The employees are generally divided into specialties, including project designers, inspectors, risk assessors, project monitors, supervisors, and employees. Of these, only supervisors and employees are likely to be exposed to high lead levels as part of their work.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook describes lead abatement work as follows:
Using a variety of hand and power tools, such as vacuums and scrapers, these employees remove the lead from surfaces. A typical residential lead abatement project involves the use of a chemical to strip the lead-based paint from the walls of the home. Lead abatement employees apply the compound with a putty knife and allow it to dry. Then they scrape the hazardous material into an impervious container for transport and storage.[72]
A lead abatement employee is likely to perform jobs at a substantial number of different sites over the course of the year, the actual number depending on the size of the buildings and the degree of contamination. Even if the employer focuses solely on lead abatement work, exposures will vary depending on the extent and age of LBP and paint deterioration. Buildings with small amounts of peeling paint may involve a limited amount of surface preparation prior to repainting; where there is widespread deterioration, surface preparation could take much longer and potential lead exposures would be much higher. Working on exteriors, which are more likely to have LBP, results in lower exposures (see Chapter 2). Nonetheless, an employee who engages in lead abatement work as a specialty can be expected to be exposed to lead at each worksite.

Data on the number of employees doing lead abatement are not directly available for several reasons. First, the Census Bureau includes them with other employees doing hazardous materials remediation services, such as asbestos removal, treatment and disposal, and radioactive decontamination. Second, some of the certified firms will be counted in other sectors; a review of lists of some State-licensed firms indicates that painting, plumbing, window, roofing and siding, general contracting, and property management firms are licensed. For example, in Maryland, of the 263 lead abatement contractors, only 44 were identifiable by name as lead or environmental specialists, while 77 were clearly general contractors and nine each were painting firms and property management firms. Third, not all certified firms conduct abatement projects; in Utah, only 17 of the 24 certified firms do abatement; the remainder only conduct assessments.

The current Occupational Outlook Handbook 2004-2005states that in 2002 there were 38,000 jobs for hazardous materials removal employees and that six percent of these (or about 2,300) were employed by specialty trade contractors to do lead or asbestos abatement.[73] The previous edition of the handbook indicated that half of the employees (18,500) were involved in lead or asbestos abatement. The new number clearly understates the number of employees; California alone has about 5,000 licensed lead supervisors and employees. EPA, which licenses employees in states that lack a state program, has 1,026 certified firms and 5,059 certified individuals.[74]  In Massachusetts, 126 of the 196 licensed lead abatement firms were independent contractors with no employees and were, therefore, not subject to the standard.[75] The 2002 Economic Census indicated that there were 926 firms doing LBP removal, but only 10 percent of their receipts were from LBP remediation work; the 2002 Census did not disaggregate employees for these firms. Dun and Bradstreet has about 3,000 firms listed in the remediation NAICS code.

For the purposes of this study, it is assumed that between 10,000 and 20,000 employees subject to the standard are engaged in lead abatement. The Census indicates that the average firm size in the remediation sector is 23 employees. Dun and Bradstreet data indicate that the median firm has between 5 and 10 employees. It is likely, therefore, that these firms are small entities as defined by SBA. In 2002, these firms had average receipts of $2.2 million and LBP removal receipts of $220,000.  Dun and Bradstreet data show that median sales are between $250,000 and $1 million.

3.4 Renovation and Remodeling Employees

As discussed above, most work done as part of renovation, remodeling, and repair does not expose employees to lead dust because either LBP is not present (75 percent of the units) or the work does not disturb LBP. Nonetheless, about 38 million housing units have LBP, of whichabout 24 million housing units contain LBP hazards, so painters and remodeling contractors are likely to encounter LBP or LBP hazards on at least some jobs.

3.4.1 Painters

Painting is a multi-step process that begins with covering surfaces and objects that will not be painted prior to surface preparation. If the surface is in good condition, surface preparation may require little more than minor patching and cleaning. If the paint has deteriorated, the peeling paint must be removed, usually by sanding and scraping. If there are multiple layers of old paint that must be removed, chemical paint strippers may be used. Unless a building has not been repainted in more than 25 years, if LBP is present it will not be the top layer of paint. On older houses, LBP may be covered with as many as 10 layers of other paint. Once the surface is smooth, the area must be cleaned prior to applying the new paint to avoid contaminating the new coatings. Painters usually apply one to three layers of primer/sealer and new paint.

Painting firms have very high turnover. The Occupational Outlook Handbook states "thousands of painters and paperhangers transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force each year.  Because there are no strict training requirements for entry, many people with limited skills work as painters or paperhangers for a short time and then move on to other types of work." [76] As indicated in Table 3-1, painting is also a sector in which more than half the employees are self-employed and, therefore, not subject to the standard.

The 2002 Economic Census listed about 39,000 painting establishments employing 184,000 painters. Approximately 54 percent of their revenues came from repair, maintenance, and additions, alterations, as opposed to new construction. In its May 2003 employment data, BLS listed 13,500 painters employed by local governments and employment services.[77] These painters are not included in the estimate because the type of painting they do is unknown; they could be painting buildings or they could be bridge and road painters. It is likely that firms in other sectors also have employees paint, but the number of these employees is not known.

The 2002 Census also provided information on the type of buildings painted by painting firms that specialize (51 percent or more of their work) on certain types of buildings; 17 percent of the firms employing about 16 percent of painters do not specialize. Table 3-7 presents these data. As indicated, firms that specialize in commercial painting have more employees than those that do residential painting, as do firms that do not specialize, but in both cases they average fewer than 10 employees.

Table 3-7: Number of Painting Firms Specializing by Type of Construction

Specialization # Firms # FTE # Painters Ave FTE/Firm Ave Painter/Firm
Single family 25,158 104,277 81,647 4 3
Multi-family 1,863 11,418 8,940 6 5
Office 1,707 15,031 11,769 9 7
Other commercial 2,886 23,765 18,607 8 6

It is possible that some of the firms and painters included in Table 3-7 will not be subject to the standard because they specialize in new construction, but the data do not provide information on that point, so the analysis assumes that all painters have the potential for lead exposure.

The 2002 Census data indicate that only 106 of the almost 39,000 painting firms have revenues of more than $10 million (the small business definition is revenues of less than $12 million). The median revenues are between $100,000 and $250,000. D&B provides recent data on painting firms by employee size and sales and covers more firms than the Census data because firms may list multiple codes. The data indicate, as do Census data, that this sector is overwhelmingly very small entities; median sales of this larger group are between $20,000 to $50,000. Table 3-8 presents the D&B data on the painting NAICS. These data may include bridge painting firms as well other industrial painters.

Table 3-8: Painting Firms by Employees and Sales

# of Employees Number of Firms % of Total
<5 82,726 87%
5-10 7,747 8%
11-20 2,714 3%
21-50 1,475 2%
51-100 299 0.3%
>100 89 0.1%
Sales    
<$20,000 374 0.4%
$20-50,000 55,798 60.1%
$51-100,000 18,246 19.6%
$101-250,000 8,880 9.6%
$251-1m 7,191 7.7%
>$1m 2,375 2.6%
Source: Dun and Bradstreet, November 2003.

3.4 2 Renovation and Remodeling

A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) on the renovation and remodeling sector described it as a stealth industry because it is not covered in most macro-economic analyses.[78] The 2002 Census listed about 47,000 firms with 141,000 construction employees. The median firm has revenues of $250,000 to $499,999. The Census reports only 203 firms with revenues high enough to be considered large. Seventy-one percent of their revenues are derived from additions, alterations, or reconstruction; 23 percent was derived from maintenance and repair (which includes painting); six percent came from new construction. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) 2003 data on R&R contractors (using the new NAICS code) are shown in Table 3-9. The firms are mostly very small, but have median sales of between $100,000 and $250,000.

Table 3-9: Size and Sales of General Renovation and Remodeling Firms

# of Employees Number of Firms % of Total
<5 88,210 88%
5-10 8,811 9%
11-20 2,449 2%
21-50 1,020 1%
51-100 151 0%
>100 60 0%
Sales    
<$20,000 270 0%
$20-50,000 2,210 2%
$51-100,000 33,982 34%
$101-250,000 35,810 36%
$251-1m 21,785 22%
>$1m 4,700 5%
Source: Dun and Bradstreet, November 2003 data.

A March 2001 study stated that the "overwhelming majority of residential remodeling establishments are small, single young businesses. Nearly seven-tenths reported revenues of less that $250,000 in 1992. Of these, more than half reported revenues of less than $100,000."[79] The study found that the five-year survival rate for these businesses was about 47 percent. For firms with less than $100,000 in receipts, 72 percent fail within five years.

3.4.3 Other Specialty Trade Contractors

Most specialty trade employees are not exposed to LBP hazards because their work does not involve disturbing painted surfaces. Three specialty trade contractors have the potential for higher exposures - carpenters, drywall specialists, and demolition employees. Each of these specialties would encounter LBP only when tearing down or cutting through existing surfaces painted with LBP. Carpenters and drywall specialists would do this when working on remodeling of older structures when walls or ceilings are being removed (e.g., redoing kitchens or adding rooms) or replacing damaged wall or ceiling panels. These activities will generate significant lead dust if they require sawing through or breaking through surfaces painted with LBP. Census data indicate that more than two thirds of drywall work is in new construction. The number of carpenters involved in R&R is unclear because the Census has divided carpenters into framing and finishing codes.[80]

Demolition employees are less likely to saw through walls or ceiling, but the breaking up of a structure may generate significant lead dust if LBP is present in substantial quantities. Because demolition is more likely for older structures where LBP may be present, the 22,000 demolition employees are at risk of lead exposures. Demolition employees, like painters, work at multiple job sites each year. The nature of the work is such that they are unlikely to be at any site for extended periods of time.[81]

3.5 Conclusion

Table 3-10 summarizes the number of firms and employees most likely to be exposed to lead above the standard. As discussed above, it is unlikely that most of the firms and employees listed under "other industrial" will be exposed to lead enough to be subject to the standard. Similarly, only a subset of building painters and demolition employees may be subject to the standard; although many of them may be exposed to LBP at some sites, they may not be exposed to LBP at most sites. Industrial painters and lead abatement specialists are the employees most likely to be exposed on a continuing basis.

Table 3-10: Estimated Number of Firms and Employees Subject to the Standard
Sector Number of Firms Number of Employees
Bridge Painting 455 5,600
Building Painting 39,000 184,000
Renovation/Remodeling 47,000 141,000
Lead Abatement Unknown 10,000-20,000
Demolition 2,100 22,000
Other Industrial Unknown 138,000
Source: Dun and Bradstreet, November 2003

OSHA estimated 936,670 exposed employees in its economic analysis used to develop costs for the interim final rule, which included employees who might have intermittent exposures. The difference between the original estimate and the estimates presented above is primarily because this analysis has focused on employees who are likely to be exposed to lead at levels that would trigger compliance with the standard. The measured exposure levels for renovation and remodeling work and the time required to reach the 8-hour TWA indicate that many specialty trade employees engaged in this work will not reach action level and so would not be affected by most of the standard's provisions. Consequently, this analysis focuses on painters and R&R employees, rather than all contractors. The analysis covers more demolition and lead abatement employees than originally estimated, fewer industrial painters, and a similar number of industrial construction employees (138,000 versus about 130,000).


This chapter provides background information on the regulatory framework that exists for lead in construction. Sections 4.1-4.4 compare the applicable regulatory standards set by the OSHA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Section 4.5 discusses a voluntary consensus standard that was developed by the industrial painting industry and certifies companies; some state and federal agencies require certification as a condition of their contracts.

4.1 EPA Regulations

4.1.1Background


EPA regulations relevant to lead-based paint are located at 40 CFR Part 745 and implement sections 402,[82] 403,[83] and 406(b)[84] of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The EPA lead-based paint regulations include provisions applicable to hazards associated with lead-based paint activities,[85] hazard education prior to renovation of target housing,[86] and identification of dangerous levels of lead.[87] EPA regulations applicable to lead in construction under the Clean Water Act (CWA) are at 40 CFR 141.43, which bans the use of lead pipes, solder, and flux in any public water system and plumbing in any facility providing water for human consumption and connected to a public water system, and 40 CFR part 141, subpart I, which covers control of lead and copper in drinking water systems.  EPA also regulates releases of lead to the environment under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act regulations. The Clean Air Act regulations are not generally relevant to construction, but the CWA regulations that require a permit for activities that could release pollutants to the water affect bridge repair and painting.   Finally, EPA regulates hazardous waste storage, treatment, and disposal. LBP debris removed and collected is considered hazardous waste.

4.1.2 Lead-Based Paint Regulations

Applicability. EPA's regulations of lead-based paint activities cover the following:
  • Contractor notification of occupants of target housing prior to renovation that the unit may contain LBP.
  • Disclosure of known LBP or LBP hazards upon sale or lease of residential property.
  • Training programs and certification of lead abatement firms and employees.
  • Required activities for lead abatement in target housing and child-occupied facilities.
Target housing includes housing constructed prior to 1978, except housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities (unless any one or more children age six years or under resides or is expected to reside in such housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities) or any zero-bedroom dwelling (studio apartments, military barracks, dormitories, hotels). A child-occupied facility is a building, or a portion of a building, constructed prior to 1978, that is visited at least 2 days a week for at least 3 hours a day by the same child, six years of age or under. Such facilities include, but are not limited to, day-care centers, preschools, and kindergarten classrooms. The EPA lead-based paint activities regulation does not address work performed in public and commercial buildings, on steel structures, bridges, and other industrial facilities.[88]

EPA regulations regarding lead hazard education before renovation, also known as the "PRE rule," applies to all renovations of target housing,[89] except for the following:
  • Minor repair and maintenance activities (including minor electrical work and plumbing) that disrupt 2 square feet or less of painted surface per component.
  • Emergency renovation operations.
  • Renovations in target housing in which a written determination has been made by an inspector (certified under either Federal regulations at § 745.226 or a State or Tribal certification program authorized under § 745.324) that the components affected by the renovation are free of paint or other surface coatings that contain lead equal to or in excess of 1.0 milligram per square centimeter or 0.5 percent by weight, where the renovator has obtained a copy of the determination.
The notice prior to sale or lease rules apply only to the sale and lease of target housing.

EPA regulations regarding identification of dangerous levels of lead and requirements for lead abatement apply to lead abatement professionals, training providers, and property owners and their agents.[90] It is important to note that these requirements apply only to lead abatement activities; they do not apply to renovation activities that may result in lead abatement, but are not being conducted specifically to abate lead hazards. For example, window or door replacement, painting, and demolition that may remove LBP hazards, but are being done for other reasons, such as remodeling, maintenance, or repair, are not subject to EPA's regulations.

Requirements. The PRE rule requires contractors to notify owners before renovation of target housing. The notification is in the form of an EPA pamphlet that describes lead hazards. The rule does not require any action other than notification and acknowledgement. The rule on disclosure before sale or lease requires disclosure of known LBP and LBP hazards in addition to providing the pamphlet; there is no requirement that the seller or lessor test to determine whether LBP is present or deteriorated.

EPA's lead-based paint activities rule requires lead abatement contractors to obtain training, receive certification, and follow the standards contained in the rule.  The rules provide the following standards:
  • Lead abatement professionals - Provides standards that risk assessors would use to identify hazards and evaluate clearance tests; helps determine when certified professionals would need to be employed to perform lead cleanup.
  • Training providers - Provides standards that training providers would have to teach in their courses.
  • Federal agencies that own residential property - standards identify hazards that Federal agencies or purchasers of Federal property would have to abate in pre 1960 housing prior to sale, under Title X, section 1013.
  • Property owners that receive assistance through Federal housing programs - standards identify hazards that property owners would have to abate or reduce as specified by regulations issued by HUD under authority of Title X, section 1012.
  • Property owners - standards identify lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards that, when known, would have to be disclosed under EPA/HUD joint regulations.
The work practice standards (40 CFR 745.227) define how the inspection must be conducted, how paint must be sampled, and the testing required (an EPA-recognized  lab must be used). The standards require the use of certified employees and a written occupant protection program. They prohibit certain work practices (open-flame burning or torching) and limit others (machine sanding, dry scraping). They require post abatement testing. Finally, they define when a LBP hazard is present.

Although EPA has held extensive discussions on additional rules that would apply more broadly to renovation other than abatement and work on structures other than target housing, these rules have not been promulgated. On January 10, 2006, EPA proposed rules for renovation, repair, and painting (71 FR 1588). These proposed rules, like existing rules, are intended to reduce exposure of children to lead dust that results from renovation and repair of housing units.  The proposed rule would apply to housing units built prior to 1978 and would be phased in. When fully implemented, the proposed rule would cover all pre-1978 rental housing and any pre-1978 owner-occupied unit where a child under six resides.

The proposed rule, issued under the authority of section 402(c)(3) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), would require that renovators are trained in the use of lead safe work practices, that renovators and firms be certified, that providers of renovation training be accredited, and that renovators follow renovation work practice standards. The standards would apply to all persons who do renovation for compensation, including renovation contractors, maintenance employees in multi-family housing, painters and other specialty trades.

These are examples of work practices described in the proposal.
  • Renovations would be performed by certified firms.
  • Certified firms would use certified renovators to perform certain activities and would provide on-the-job-training for uncertified employees.  Training programs would have to be at least eight hours long.
  • Firms would post signs clearly defining the work area and warning occupants and other persons not involved in renovation activities to remain outside of the work area.
  • Before beginning the renovation, the firm would isolate the work area so that no visible dust or debris leaves the work area while the renovation is being performed.
  • Waste from renovation activities would be contained to prevent releases of dust and debris.
  • After the renovation is complete, the firm would clean the work area. A certified renovator may verify the cleanliness of the work area using a procedure involving disposable cleaning cloths.
The proposed rule would continue to exempt any unit or housing component that is coated with paint that has less than 0.5 percent lead by weight. EPA is also proposing to exempt minor repair and maintenance activities that disturb two square feet or less of painted surface per unit, and renovations when specified methods are used to determine that the area is lead free. Unlike rules for lead abatement, EPA is not proposing to ban any work practices.

On March 16, 2007, EPA announced in the Federal Register the availability of two new studies that have been put on the EPA docket for its proposed renovation, repair, and painting rulemaking (72 FR 12582). EPA has also put these two, new studies which assess the hazards associated with renovation activities on the EPA website for its January 10, 2006 proposed renovation, repair, and painting rule. These reports are entitled: "Draft Final Report on Characterization of Dust Lead Levels after Renovation, Repair and Painting Activities, January 23, 2007" prepared by Battelle for EPA; and "Lead-Safe Work Practices Survey Project Report, November 2006" prepared by Atrium for NAHB.  These reports only became available well after OSHA completed its draft regulatory review (lookback review) of the Lead in Construction standard, and most of the review process had been completed. Neither of these two studies has been submitted to OSHA. [Note that the public comment period for this lookback review of OSHA's Lead in Construction standard closed November 7, 2005 (70 FR 50996).]

The major thrust of these two, new reports in response to the EPA rulemaking is to investigate whether using certain work practices when removing lead paint during repainting, renovation or remediation reduces lead levels to protect young children.  The studies conclude that certain practices do that.  In addition, the Atrium report indicates that various work practices reduce lead exposures to workers engaged in renovation and repainting.  OSHA may be able to use this information when it prepares new outreach materials.

4.1.3 Other EPA Regulations

Clean Air Act (CAA) regulations apply to ambient air quality (outdoor air) and regulate lead as an individual pollutant and also regulate particulate matter both as PM10 and as PM2.5.[91] [92] EPA has established maximum allowable airborne concentration levels for particulate matter[93] and for lead.[94]

The National Ambient Air Quality standard (NAAQS) for lead is 1.5 mg/m3 averaged over a calendar quarter. The calendar quarterly average is determined through analysis of ambient air samples taken over 24-hour periods over the course of each quarter.[95] The NAAQS for particulates is a PM10, 50 mg/m3 as an annual average and 150 mg/m3 as a 24-hour average. The 24-hour average is not to be exceeded in more than one 24-hour period per year, and the annual arithmetic mean of 50 mg/m3 is not to be exceeded.

If a construction project produced an offsite concentration of 2,500 mg/m3 of airborne particulate (PM10) over 8 hours, the 24-hour average concentration would be 833 mg/m3, exceeding the PM standards. The offsite concentration of lead associated with the particulate emissions from the construction site would depend upon the lead content of the particulate. If a construction project produced an offsite concentration of lead above 405 mg/m3 over a single 8-hour period, the quarterly average lead concentration would be more than the lead NAAQS of 1.5 mg/m3, even if there were no further emissions for the remainder of the calendar quarter. Without containment and capture of the particulate emissions, projects that produce PM10 or lead dust at these offsite concentrations would exceed the NAAQS.

The Clean Water Act (CWA)[96] also affects industrial construction, particularly work on bridges. Lead is considered a pollutant under the CWA regulations. In a 1997 case, sand and paint chip residue from sandblasting operations were considered pollutants.[97] The water pollution rules are complicated in themselves and are made more so because they are implemented and interpreted by the States, which differ in their interpretations. For example, a bridge or tank near a bridge may or may not be considered a point source and subject to CWA permitting rules.

Even if not considered a point source, however, a construction project would not be allowed to release lead into the water because the Rivers and Harbors (Refuse Act) Act of 1899, section 13, bars discharge of any refuse matter of any kind or description whatever.[98] EPA does not believe that permits are granted to release lead into water.[99] Because permits are not issued, paint removal projects near waterways must be conducted so that no lead is released into water.  Consequently, although EPA regulations do not require enclosures for LBP removal projects over water, the practical effect of the environmental water statutes and their interpretation by the States is that these removals must be conducted in enclosures or with specialized equipment, such as shrouded tools connected to vacuums, that capture all dust and debris before they can be released into the environment.

Finally, EPA regulates the generation, storage, treatment, transportation, and disposal of hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).[100] Lead paint dust and chips and other lead-containing wastes are classified as hazardous waste and are assigned a RCRA Waste Code. Hazardous waste generators are divided into three categories:
  • Large quantity generators that generate 1,000 kg of hazardous waste per calendar month;
  • Small quantity generators who generate between 100 kg and 1,000 kg of hazardous waste per month and accumulate less than 6,000 kg of hazardous waste at any one time; and
  • Conditionally exempt small quantity generators who produce less than 100 kg of hazardous waste per calendar month and accumulate less than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste at any one time.
According to the RCRA regulations, the generation of these quantities of waste in any single calendar month is sufficient to classify the generator as a small-quantity generator or large-quantity generator.

The RCRA regulations apply only to waste that is collected and thereby classified as "solid waste."  Section 1926.62 requires employers to vacuum or otherwise collect lead dust, and EPA regulations, including the NAAQS, limit the ability of firms to release lead dust uncontrolled to the outside air. Lead-based paint dust and chips generated and collected during construction projects would constitute hazardous waste subject to RCRA regulations. The cost model developed for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), discussed in detail in Chapter 7, indicates that bridge repair and painting jobs for bridges of 20,000 square feet or more would generate sufficient lead-based paint waste in a calendar month to qualify as large quantity generators.[101] Smaller industrial projects, commercial and institutional building projects, and larger residential projects may also generate more than 100 kg of hazardous waste in a calendar month and may therefore meet the definition of a small quantity generator.[102] EPA, however, has classified LBP debris from residential projects as household waste, which excludes it from being a hazardous waste and subject to RCRA.[103] Both small and large-quantity generators are required to properly store, package, transport, and track the hazardous waste from the point of generation to a permitted treatment or disposal facility. Smaller residential projects that produce lead waste are more likely to be considered conditionally exempt generators. Such generators are required to identify the waste and ensure that the waste is treated or disposed of at a facility qualified to handle the waste.

4.2 HUD Regulations

HUD regulations regarding lead are found at 24 CFR Part 35, which contains two regulatory programs for most pre-1978 housing. The first is the joint rule with EPA that governs the disclosure of known lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards; and the second governs notification, evaluation, and reduction of lead-based paint hazards in federally-assisted property and federally-owned property being disposed of by the Government.

In 1992, Congress passed Title X[104] to address the need to control exposure to lead-based paint hazards. Title X amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (LBPPPA)[105] and established infrastructure and standards necessary to reduce lead-based paint hazards in housing with special emphasis on the needs of children under age 6 as a particularly vulnerable population.

Section 1018 of Title X requires the following activities before a purchaser or lessee is obligated under a contract to purchase or lease target housing:
  • Sellers and lessors must provide purchasers and lessees with a lead hazard information pamphlet, as developed under section 406(a) of TSCA;
  • Sellers and lessors must disclose the presence of known lead-based paint and/or lead-based paint hazards in such housing and provide purchasers and lessees with any lead hazard evaluation report available to the seller or lessor;
  • Sellers must permit purchasers a 10-day opportunity to conduct a risk assessment or inspection for the presence of lead-based paint hazards; and
  • Sales contracts must include an attached Lead Warning Statement and acknowledgment, signed by the purchaser.
Under Section 1018 of Title X, EPA and HUD promulgated joint regulations for disclosure of any known lead-based paint or any known lead-based paint hazards in target housing offered for sale or lease.[106]

HUD's second regulatory program, called the Lead Safe Housing Rule, covers notification, evaluation, and reduction of lead-based paint hazards in most pre-1978 housing receiving HUD or other Federal assistance and pre-1978 Federally owned housing being sold. [107] The Lead Safe Housing Rule requires various activities, from interim controls to full abatement, depending on the type of assistance and the assistance program, such as multifamily mortgage insurance, project-based rental assistance, rehabilitation, and tenant-based rental assistance.

The Lead Safe Housing Rule prohibits certain methods of removal of paint "that is or may be, lead-based paint" in properties covered by those regulations.[108] Prohibited methods include the following:
  • Open flame burning or torching;
  • Machine sanding or grinding without a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) local exhaust control;
  • Abrasive blasting or sandblasting without HEPA local exhaust control;
  • Heat guns operating above 1100 degrees Fahrenheit or charring the paint;
  • Dry sanding or dry scraping, except dry scraping in conjunction with heat guns or within 1.0 ft. (0.30 m.) of electrical outlets, or when treating defective paint spots totaling no more than 2 sq. ft. (0.2 sq. m.) in any one interior room or space, or totaling no more than 20 sq. ft. (2.0 sq. m.) on exterior surfaces; and
  • Paint stripping in a poorly ventilated space using a volatile stripper that is a hazardous substance in accordance with definition of hazardous substance by the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 16 CFR 1500.3, and/or a hazardous chemical in accordance with the OSHA regulations regarding hazard communication at 29 CFR 1910.1200 or 1926.59, as applicable to the work.
All but the last of these requirements are also specified in EPA's lead abatement rules.

4.3 CPSC Regulations

The CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction, including products that may contain lead.[109] The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA)[110] "requires precautionary labeling on the immediate container of hazardous household products to help consumers safely store and use those products and to give them information about immediate first aid steps to take if an accident happens. The FHSA also allows the CPSC to ban certain products that are so dangerous or the nature of the hazard is such that the labeling the act requires is not adequate to protect consumers."[111]

The FHSA defines household products that expose children to hazardous quantities of lead under reasonably foreseeable conditions of handling or use as "hazardous substances."[112] The FHSA bans all toys or other articles intended for use by children which contain a hazardous amount of lead accessible for children to ingest,[113] and requires precautionary labeling for household products that are not intended for children but which create a risk of injury because it contains lead.[114]

The CPSC regulations banned paint and other similar surface coatings that contain more than 0.06 percent lead ("lead-containing paint") after 1977 (some local jurisdictions banned the use of lead-containing paint earlier, e.g., New York City in 1960). CPSC also bans toys and other articles intended for use by children that bear lead-containing paint, and furniture articles for consumer use that bear lead-containing paint.[115] The regulations exempt certain product as long as they have specific warning labels. These products are coatings used to refinish industrial or agricultural equipment; building and equipment maintenance coatings; products marketed solely for use on billboards, road signs, and similar products; touch-up coatings for agricultural equipment, lawn and garden equipment, and appliances; and catalyzed coatings marketed solely for use on radio-controlled model powered airplanes.[116]

4.4 Comparison

Table 4-1 summarizes the key elements of the OSHA, EPA, and HUD programs. EPA and HUD LBP programs are combined because the two have joint regulations. Other EPA programs are presented separately.

Table 4-1: Comparison of OSHA Construction, EPA, and HUD Lead Programs

OSHA HUD LBP EPA LBP Other EPA
Goals      
Protect construction employees Protect children, particularly those <6 Protect children, particularly those <6 Protect public health and the environment
Focus      
Exposures during construction Exposures after construction and maintenance, and methods during construction and maintenance to ensure low exposures afterward Exposures after abatement and maintenance, and methods during abatement to ensure low exposures afterward Prevent releases to the environment; control of hazardous waste
Coverage      
Any employee potentially exposed to lead during construction Pre-1978 housing, and child-occupied facilities in that housing Pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities Any project that could release lead to water or air
  Federally owned housing being disposed of Federally owned housing Any project that generates lead waste
  Federally assisted housing Federally assisted housing  
  Requires certification of firms, employees doing work covered by EPA certification rule (inspection, risk assessment, abatement) Requires certification of firms, employees doing work covered by certification rule (inspection, risk assessment, abatement)  
  Requires training of employees doing interim control work    
Gaps      
Does not cover self-employed or independent contractors Does not cover elderly housing, single-room units, all non-residential (except child-occupied facilities in pre-1978 residences) Does not cover elderly housing, single-room units, all non-residential non-child-occupied facilities  
  Work practices do not cover interim controls  
Differences      
Generally, requires air monitoring if an employee may be exposed Requires testing of paint (x-ray fluorescence testing, or paint chip collection and EPA-recognized lead laboratory analysis) or presumption of presence of lead-based paint before work Requires testing of paint (x-ray fluorescence testing, or paint chip collection and EPA-recognized lead laboratory analysis) or presumption of presence of lead-based paint before work  
Does not require clean-up at the end of a project Requires clean-up and clearance testing at the end of all but the smallest projects Requires clean-up and cleaerance testing at the end of abatement projects  
Allows most work practices if appropriate engineering controls and/or PPE are used Bans some work practices Bans some work practices  
Requires employee training Requires certification of lead abatement firms and employees; training of interim control workers Requires certification of lead abatement firms and employees  
Does not require notification prior to work Requires notification prior to work Requires notification prior to work  
Requires monitoring during work Requires monitoring during work Requires monitoring during work  
Makes no distinction between lead abatement and other R&R work Clearly separates lead abatement from all other work Clearly separates lead abatement from all other work  


As Table 4-1 indicates, the rules of the three agencies address different issues, based on their different statutory authorities. Although some private home or building owners may hire certified lead abatement specialists to conduct lead abatement under the EPA/HUD rules, people familiar with the programs believe that in practice most of the lead abatement conducted under these rules is done at federally owned or assisted housing units. The clear distinction that EPA and HUD draw between intentional lead abatement and renovation that may result in lead abatement created uncertainty for some owners and contractors, given the high cost of lead abatement, so those agencies issued a clarification of rehabilitation requirements and the definition of abatement.[117] The EPA work practice restrictions for lead abatement may also limit the willingness of contractors to classify their work as abatement. For example, the rules ban dry scraping except for small areas. At a 1999 hearing, contractors stated that wet scraping was not a practical alternative, and NIOSH discussed one study that found no significant difference between wet scraping and dry scraping exposure levels.[118]

HUD requires testing of paint chips for laboratory analysis, measuring paint on-site by x‑ray fluorescence (XRF), or presuming that paint is lead-based paint, in properties covered by its Lead Safe Housing Rule. OSHA generally requires air monitoring where employees may be occupationally exposed to lead, to ensure that lead dust is not creating an employee hazard.

Environmental laws bar release of lead into waterways. Agencies have required that paint removal and repair work be contained. Some containment practices, especially for more-extensive projects, may increase the level of lead dust to which employees may be exposed and requires more effort to protect employees. New tools can eliminate the need for enclosures, but the tools require substantial initial investment and are not considered appropriate for many projects.

4.5 Voluntary standards

4.5.1 Steel Structures Painting Council (SSPC)


The Steel Structures Painting Council (SSPC) has developed certification programs for firms that remove and apply industrial coatings. The two programs relevant to the lead standard are the QP1 and QP2 programs. SPCC originally organized the QP 1 certification to answer an industry need voiced by contractors, owners, and others who hire industrial painting contractors. At the time, the industry did not have a national standard to evaluate the primary capability of the contractor prior to a contract award. SSPC issued the first version of the QP 1 standard in September 1989; the certification program was released later that same year. Since that time, the QP 1 contractor certification program has been reviewed and improved to meet the changing quality needs of the industry.  Significant QP 1 changes are made by consensus and approved by the SSPC standards Review Committee and the SSPC Board of Governors.

QP 2 was developed by consensus to meet the industry's need for better management and control on projects involving the removal of hazardous paint from structural steel in the field. The QP 2 standard and certification were designed to build on the guidelines established in QP 1 and provide facility owners with a means to evaluate the primary capability of industrial paint contractors specific to the needs of hazardous paint removal projects.  This expansion program was first released in 1993.

The QP 1 program is designed to provide facility owners and specification writers a means to determine whether the painting contractor has the capability to perform surface preparations and coating application in the field on complex industrial and marine structures, such as:
  • Bridges
  • Food and beverage facilities
  • Off-shore drilling
  • Power generation facilities
  • Petro/chemical plants
  • Storage tanks
  • Ships maintenance
To be certified by SSPC, industrial contractors must demonstrate competence in several key areas:
  • Management procedures
  • Quality control
  • Safety and environmental compliance
  • Technical capabilities
These areas are evaluated through a series of submittals to SSPC describing the contractor's business operations.  Then an impartial, on-site audit of a representative active jobsite, and headquarter offices is performed to verify that the programs and practices are in fact implemented and used.

QP 2 builds on the standards and guidelines of QP 1 to further qualify the industrial contracting company in hazardous paint removal operations, which includes removal of LBP.  QP 1 certification is a prerequisite for QP 2; certification for both can be completed at the same time.

QP 2 Certification requires demonstrated competence in four key areas:
  • Management of Hazardous Paint Removal Projects
  • Technical Capabilities Related to Hazardous Paint Removal
  • Personnel Qualifications and Training
  • Safety and Environmental Compliance Programs.
The QP 2 evaluation process is the same as QP 1, except that the active job site must be a hazardous paint removal project with all of the protective measures in place and functioning.  The QP 2 program guidelines are first evaluated through the required submittals that describe the contractor's procedures, practices, and programs. Then an SSPC auditor performs an impartial active job site audit to verify the use of the submitted practices and programs.

As of January 2006, 196 U.S. firms were QP 1 certified; 126 of these are also QP 2 certified. At the federal level, the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Commerce, the Navy (NAVFAC), and the Federal Lands Department require QP 2 certification for contractors bidding on applicable jobs. Among state agencies, 19 state departments of transportation plus Washington, D.C., require QP 2 certification as do 18 bridge/highway/transit/port authorities and cities.[119]

4.5.2 ASTM International

ASTM International is a voluntary standards development organization that develops technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services.  The scope of ASTM Subcommittee E06.23 on Lead Hazards Associated with Buildings is to develop standards that address the identification, reduction, and elimination of hazards associated with lead in paint, dust, soil, and airborne particulates found in and around buildings.[120]

EPA considered ASTM standards during development of its lead-based paint regulations (see Sections 4.1.1 and 4.1.2). It identified six as being of particular interest. In its rule on work practice standards for lead-based paint activities in target housing and child-occupied facilities (40 CFR 745.227), it endorsed three ASTM standards regarding the selection and use of lead encapsulation products, but chose not to require them as part of the work practice standards in that rule. In the definitions for its rule on lead hazard standards (40 CFR 745.63), it incorporated three ASTM standards with respect to dust and soil sampling methods and materials.

Among the standards developed by the subcommittee are about 15 that may be of interest to employers conducting lead in construction activities and the lead professionals and lead laboratories they use. Because these provide technical guidance to the professionals, they are not recommended for inclusion in the Lead-in-Construction standard itself, but could be cited in guidance.

Table 4-2: ASTM Standards that may be of Interest to Employers

Focus Standard Title
Sampling E1728-03 Standard Practice for Collection of Settled Dust Samples Using Wipe Sampling Methods for Subsequent Lead Determination
Sampling E1729-05 Standard Practice for Field Collection of Dried Paint Samples for Subsequent Lead Determination
Sampling E1792-03 Standard Specification for Wipe Sampling Materials for Lead in Surface Dust
Analytical E1613-04 Standard Test Method for Determination of Lead by Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES), Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (FAAS), or Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (GFAAS) Techniques
Analytical E1644-04 Standard Practice for Hot Plate Digestion of Dust Wipe Samples for the Determination of Lead
Analytical E1645-01 Standard Practice for the Preparation of Dried Paint Samples by Hotplate or Microwave Digestion for Subsequent Lead Analysis
Analytical E1741-00 Standard Practice for Preparation of Airborne Particulate Lead Samples Collected During Abatement and Construction Activities for Subsequent Analysis by Atomic Spectrometry
Analytical E1753-04 Standard Practice for Use of Qualitative Chemical Spot Test Kits for Detection of Lead in Dry Paint Films
Analytical E1775-01 Standard Guide for Evaluating Performance of On-Site Extraction and Field-Portable Electrochemical or Spectrophotometric Analysis for Lead
Analytical E1979-04 Standard Practice for Ultrasonic Extraction of Paint, Dust, Soil, and Air Samples for Subsequent Determination of Lead
Analytical - On Site E1828-01 Standard Practice for Evaluating the Performance Characteristics of Qualitative Chemical Spot Test Kits for Lead in Paint
Analytical - On Site E2051-01 Standard Practice for the Determination of Lead in Paint, Settled Dust, Soil and Air Particulate by Field-Portable Electroanalysis
Analytical - On Site E2119-00 Standard Practice for Quality Systems for Conducting In Situ Measurements of Lead Content in Paint or Other Coatings Using Field-Portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Devices
Analytical - On Site E2120-00 Standard Practice for the Performance Evaluation of the Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer for the Measurement of Lead in Paint Films
Record Keeping E2239-04 Standard Practice for Record Keeping and Record Preservation for Lead Hazard Activities

The scope of ASTM Committee D22 on Air Quality is the promotion of knowledge, the development of test methods, practices, guides, and terminology pertaining to sampling and analysis of atmospheres, interpretation of data, the standardization of recognized and practiced methods for measurement of atmospheric quality, and sponsoring of discussions among those active in the study of air quality. Committee D22 has published two standards that can be used for indoor environmental evaluations related to lead exposures:

Focus Standard Title
Sampling D 4840 Guide for Sampling Chain-of-Custody Procedures
Sampling D 5438 Collection of Floor Dust for Chemical Analysis
Because these provide technical guidance to the professionals, they are not recommended for inclusion in the Lead-in-Construction standard itself, but could be cited in guidance.
Chapter 5. ANALYSIS OF LEAD EXPOSURES IN CONSTRUCTION

As discussed in Chapter 2, some construction employees are being exposed to high levels of lead, primarily from LBP dust. The focus of this chapter is the data on the consequences of those exposures. Section 5.1 discusses, in general, the data from the NIOSH Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) Program. Section 5.2 presents data on exposures and blood lead levels (BLLs) for employees engaged in non-residential work. Section 5.3 reviews data on exposures in residential renovation and remodeling work.

5.1 ABLES Data

The Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) Program is a state-based surveillance system in which participating States provide information to NIOSH on laboratory-reported blood lead levels among adults. The ABLES data provide some indication of the number of employees who are suffering from elevated BLLs.

In 2002, states began reporting data by SIC code although only 28 of the 35 ABLES states did so. NIOSH reported that manufacturing represented 58 percent of adults with levels above 25 mg/dL while construction represented 22 percent.[121] Table 5-1 presents the number of reported cases with BLLs above 25 mg/dL for 2002 by construction industry sector for the states that reported adults in these sectors.[122] Of the 28 states that reported BLLs by SIC code, five - Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, and South Carolina - reported no construction employees and are not included on the table. As can be seen there is a considerable variation among states on the numbers of employees reported in SIC codes. Although painters generally have the highest number of reports, four states reported no painters and three others reported six or fewer.

ABLES data represent the most comprehensive source of information about employees with elevated BLLs, but they are likely to understate the number of employees with elevated BLLs for several reasons.
  • Compliance with the OSHA standard is generally believed to vary considerably within the construction industry.[123] Larger firms and those holding government or industrial contracts are more likely to test employees than residential contractors.  At least one State, Massachusetts, requires testing of employees as a condition of licensing lead abatement firms and of contracts for bridge repairs.  Independent contractors, who represent a majority of painters, are not subject to the standard; it is unlikely that they are tested unless they develop symptoms of lead poisoning.
Table 5-1: ABLES Data by SIC Code and State for BLLs > 25
  CA CT FL HI IL KS MA MD ME MI MN MO NH NJ NM NY OH OK OR TX UT WA WI
1521 General contractor single family   5     2       3   3   7                   1
1522 General contractor - multi 1   1   1   13                 1             1
1541 Industrial buildings 3           2 1 1     1   4   4 23     4      
1542 Non residential other than industrial 4                     3       1       18   1  
1611 Highway, street       1               1   4                  
1622 -Bridge     5   1     1       1 1 35 1 80 2     1   4 17
1623 Pipeline                               4              
1629 Industrial non building 33               2 2           4 2            
1711 Plumbing 1 2 16     1       1   7                      
1721 - Painting 99 17 60 2 31   95 67 19 29 6 16 21 119   203 29 3   25   10 12
1731 Electrical         1                                    
1741 Masonry 5             1                              
1742 Plastering, drywall             1             4             1 1  
1751 Carpentry         6   2         2 1                    
1761 Roofing 1           1                                
1791 Structural steel                   1       13                  
1794 Glass                           1                  
1795 - Demolition 1       19   1     15   5 1 1   6 1 1   8     7
1796 Building equipment           1                         3        
1799 - Other 10 2 16 1 10   67   2 8     7 2   10 2     5 1 1  
  • When employees are tested, States must rely on testing labs to notify the State. The data, therefore, are likely to be incomplete even in States with a substantial number of reports and in States where self-employed employees are expected to comply (the MA lead law covers all residential painters).

  • In terms of industrial classification, the Census Bureau requires that firms list themselves in a single sector; other listing services, such as Dun and Bradstreet, allow reporting in multiple sectors. It is not possible to determine whether ABLES reports reflect the primary SIC code for the firm or the activity the person tested reported. This issue is particularly likely to arise between general contractors and painters and bridge employees and painters. Firms classified as general contractors or bridge construction may do painting. In addition, the Maryland blood lead registry indicated that some of the painters listed were non-occupational (homeowners).

  • The aggregation of all painters into a single category in the old SIC code system makes it difficult to determine how many industrial versus residential painters are being exposed to high levels of lead.

  • The ABLES data provide no information on the number of employees exposed to lead, the number tested, and the percentage of exposed employees tested.
ABLES represents the best source of multi-state data on lead exposures. As shown in Table 5-2, the data indicate that there are fewer reported cases of employees with BLLs above 40 and above the level that triggers medical removal under the standard (50).   Painters, however, have a comparatively high number of reported elevated BLLs. Note, for the reasons just stated, that these numbers would be a substantial underestimate of employees with elevated BLLs.

Table 5-2: 2002 ABLES Data by SIC Code and BLL
  # of Reports (mg/dL)
  >25-39 40-49 50-59 Over 60
1521 General contractor single family 12 5 1 3
1522 General contractor - multi family 13 1 2 2
1541 Industrial buildings 39 3   1
1542 Non residential other than industrial 12 7 4 4
1611 Highway, street 4 2    
1622 Bridge, tunnel, elevated highway 133 13   3
1623 Pipeline 2 2    
1629 Industrial non building 33 6 3 1
1711 Plumbing 15 1 11  
1721 Painting 624 142 52 45
1731 Electrical 1      
1741 Masonry 6      
1742 Plastering, drywall 2 2 2 1
1751 Carpentry 8   3  
1761 Roofing 2      
1791 Structural steel 12 2    
1794 Glass 1      
1795 Demolition 52 7 5 2
1796 Building equipment 1 0 2 1
1799 Other 111 21 9 3

States have joined and left the ABLES program, did not always have the same reporting criteria, and did not report by SIC code until 2002. Therefore, certain analyses from the data may be difficult or impossible to conduct.

As the data in Table 5-2 indicate, painters are the sector with the highest number of reported elevated BLLs. Table 5-3 focuses on nine states reporting to ABLES that had a substantial number of reports in SIC code 1721. There is variation among states. That variation is likely to be the result of a number of factors, including the level of compliance with the medical surveillance and reporting requirements, the compliance with requirements for protective equipment, which should lower the number of employees with elevated levels, and the age of the housing stock.

There are no data on the number of painters who have been tested and that would be the appropriate base to compare the number with high BLLs and to make an estimate of the total number of painters with elevated BLLs. Also, the ABLES data, because they are based on SIC codes, includes both bridge and building painters within the painting category. As will be discussed below, the States indicate that most of the employees in this category are bridge painters. If bridge painters were the baseline, the ABLES data would represent approximately 8 percent of these painters.

Table 5-3: Number of ABLES Cases by State for SIC Code 1721

  # of Cases of Elevated BLLs (mg/dL)
State 40-49 50-59 60+
CA 17 6 2
CT 3 3 2
FL 15 8 10
MA 14 5 7
MD 9 2 0
NJ 15 6 5
NY 33 10 11
OH 8 2 2
TX 5 4 3
Total 119 46 42

OSHA contacted some of the State blood lead registries to discuss the data. The responses indicate that the basis for the data vary considerably across states. For example, Florida stated that very few self-employed employees were tested; Maryland estimated that between 10 percent and 20 percent of the cases in its database were self-employed; Connecticut stated that 80 percent to 90 percent of their cases were from large companies, but that smaller companies are underreported. Texas indicated that the self-employed were not included. California does include them, but they show up rarely. California stated that only heavy steel and bridge painters are extensively represented. Maryland estimated that the individual reports were 60 percent complete.

5.2 Lead Exposures In Industrial Construction

Lead exposures in industrial construction are usually associated with removal of lead-based paint (LBP) from structural steel bridges. Other industrial construction work involving lead includes mortar that contains lead compounds, the use of lead as a lining, which often requires the heating of lead panels, and the use of molten lead to seal piping and cables. As discussed in Chapter 4, LBP removal from bridges often must be carried out in enclosures to prevent release of dust to the environment. Even with ventilation systems to remove the dust, enclosures are likely to increase the levels of dusts to which an employee could be exposed.

5.2.1 Cases of Elevated BLLs in Industrial Construction Employees

Bridge Demolition.In 1988, five of nine employees hired to demolish a bridge in Massachusetts were diagnosed with lead poisoning. An OSHA investigation determined that from November 1987 through early March 1988, four of the employees had used torches to cut apart large sections of the bridge; the fifth had cut the sections into smaller pieces. Exposure levels were not recorded, but the employees were tested and found to have BLLs that ranged from 58 μg/dL to 160 μg/dL. OSHA determined that the paint covering the bridge contained 30 percent lead by weight.[124]

From late February to early April 1992, a contractor hired four employees to cut apart steel beams removed from a bridge in Georgia. The work was performed outdoors, without protective equipment or training. The work continued into June although the employees began showing symptoms of lead poisoning in April. An air sample taken in April measured lead concentrations of 525 μg/m3. When tested in June, the employees were found to have BLLs that ranged from 50 μg/dL to 93 μg/dL, at which point they were medically removed from the work and treated. Testing in December showed that their BLLs had fallen to 13 μg/dL to 27 μg/dL.[125]

Bricklayers. In May 1989, 4 members of an 11-member crew of bricklayers in Washington developed lead poisoning while replacing the lead lining of an acid-accumulation tank at a paper mill. The employees were using a special brick mortar that contained 71 percent lead oxide and was formulated to resist the normally acidic environment of the 50-foot-high and 20-foot diameter tank. The employee who mixed the mortar became ill after 3 weeks on the job; his replacement became ill within 2 days of assuming the mixing job. By mid May, two more employees were ill. Testing revealed BLLs that ranged from 88 μg/dL to 123 μg/dL. Employees who did not become ill were not tested. Employees were not using respirators or taking other protective steps until after the first two employees became ill.[126]

Lead Burners. In July 1991, NIOSH initiated an environmental survey and medical evaluations of lead burners at a construction site in Utah. The evaluation focused on 17 lead burners who had been hired to line the interior of two large steel tanks with lead sheets. The lining operation involved grinding the surface of the tank to remove steel oxidation products followed by tinning -- the application of a lead/tin solder paste heated with a torch. After the grinding and tinning processes had been completed, employees used torches to bond lead sheets to the tank; the seams between the lead sheets were then sealed with molten lead solder. Ten of the 16 tested employees had baseline BLLs greater than or equal to 30 μg/dL, indicating they had had substantial exposure to lead before beginning work on this project (a baseline BLL was not obtained from one employee, a supervisor).  During the work, personal-breathing-zone air samples were collected for eight employees.  The mean time-weighted-average (TWA) airborne lead exposure was 270 μg/m3 (range: 140-460 μg/m3).  Short-term air samples were collected to evaluate the relative contribution of each process to the employees' cumulative exposures.  For the four samples obtained during the grinding process, the mean lead exposure was 32 μg/m3 (range: 0-46 μg/m3).  For the three samples obtained during the tinning process, the mean exposure was 287 μg/m3 (range: 280-290 μg/m3).  For the 12 samples obtained during the bonding/burning process, the mean exposure was 260 μg/m3 (range: 50-530 μg/m3).  All employees wore respiratory protection (either half- or full-face piece respirators) with high-efficiency particulate filters and organic vapor/acid gas cartridges.

During the NIOSH site visit (5-10 weeks after the baseline data were gathered) all 17 employees provided a blood specimen for blood lead determination.  Although no employees reported symptoms suggestive of lead poisoning, the overall mean BLL was 36 μg/dL (range: 11-82 μg/dL), a significant increase from the mean preemployment BLL.  In four (24%) employees, BLLs were greater than or equal to 50 μg/dL.  Among the 12 employees with greater than or equal to 1 year of lead-burner experience, the mean BLL was 42 μg/dL (range: 21-82 μg/dL); in comparison, among the five employees with less than 1 year of experience, the mean BLL was 20 μg/dL.[127]

Sandblasting.  From February 15 to March 30, 1994, eight employees sandblasted the interior of a 100-year-old, five-story building in Texas. Two employees became seriously ill; the other six were located and tested. The BLLs ranged from 15 μg/dL (for an employee who spent only one week at the site) to 245 μg/dL. Lead content in paint and sandblasting residue collected from the worksite on May 4 was 1,900 μg/g and 25,000 μg/g, respectively; content in dust obtained from wipe samples of the floor and the interior surface of a window pane was 75,000 and 145,000 μg/ft2, respectively.[128]

5.2.2 Studies of Bridge Employees

An estimated 90,000 structural steel bridges in the United States are coated with lead-based paints, which become a hazard to employees when these structures are refurbished or demolished.[129] High exposures to lead among bridge employees were first documented in 1982[130], and in 1992, personal exposures of a cohort of bridge employees to airborne lead ranged from 3,690 μg/m3 to 29,400 μg/m3 for abrasive blasters and from 5 μg/m3 to 6,720 μg/m3 for employees in other job categories.  Despite such high exposures, CDC, in 1995, stated that bridge employees typically accounted for only a small proportion of employees with elevated BLLs who are reported to lead registries.  CDC attributed this fact to a lack of medical monitoring of this employee population and underreporting of elevated results.  In contrast, CDC reported that in Massachusetts, where blood lead monitoring has been required for employees involved in lead paint removal and structural painting since 1990, bridge painters have accounted for approximately one third of employees with BLLs greater than or equal to 60 μg/dL and for whom specific industry/occupation information was available.[131]

In 1990, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and Addiction Services (CDPHAS), the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CONNDOT), and CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) initiated the Connecticut Road Industry Surveillance Project (CRISP) to reduce lead toxicity in bridge employees through the incorporation of protective measures into contracts in addition to the use of regulatory measures. From July 1991 through December 1994, 1,421 employees were enrolled in the database. They were employed by 90 contractors and assigned to 68 CONNDOT projects. Table 5-4 presents the data on BLLs for employees by year and job category.[132]

Table 5-4: Mean BLLs for Bridge Employees, by Job Category and Year - Connecticut Road Industry Surveillance Project, 1991-1994

Job Category # of Employees Mean BLL (mg/dL)
Carpenters    
1992 1 14
1993 52 6.8
1994 28 7.5
Iron Employees/Welders    
1991 10 20.6
1992 22 19.1
1993 103 13.6
1994 116 10.9
Painters/Blasters    
1991 19 41.8
1992 30 28.2
1993 122 16.4
1994 261 16.6
Groundsmen    
1991 1 9
1992 31 17.1
1993 160 7.1
1994 226 9.2

Note: CDC did not present the range of BLL

After 1992, BLLs decreased substantially among Connecticut bridge employees. CDC stated that evaluation of these results is complicated by the concurrent promulgation of 29 CFR 1926.62. OSHA believes that these results demonstrate that both the issuance of the OSHA Lead in Construction standard and CRISP resulted in substantially lower BLLs.

CDC also reported on a primary physician who established a program to monitor lead-exposed bridge employees. During March-December 1994, the physician's monitoring database recorded BLLs from 373 bridge employees employed by 35 painting contractors in eight states.  The mean BLL for these 373 employees was 27.2 µg/dL. More than half [194 (52 percent)] of the employees had a BLL greater than 25 µg/dL, and 35 (9 percent) had a level greater than or equal to 50 µg/dL. Table 5-5 presents the comparative distribution of BLLs for Connecticut and the physician's database.[133]

Table 5-5: BLLs in Bridge Employees 1994

  Physician's Database* CRISP Data
BLL (µg/dL) # % # %
< 20 133 36 775 82
20-29 80 21 109 11
30-39 70 19 48 5
40-49 55 15 12 1
50+ 35 9 5 1
Total 373   949  
*Employee population obtained from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee

5.2.3 NIOSH Studies

In January 1997, NIOSH submitted a report to Congress on protecting employees from LBP.[134] NIOSH reported on the Connecticut study summarized above. NIOSH stated that the decline found may have been the result of medical surveillance under the State program. One bridge site indicated that employee exposures were high (2,720 μg/m3 for painters/blasters), but no employee's BLL reached 50 mg/dL (46 employees tested); these employees were required to wear respirators and other protective clothing.  However, 22 percent of employees had at least one BLL measured above 25 mg/dL and 41 percent had increases of 10 mg/dL during the study even with the use of personal protective equipment. Since none of the tested employees wearing respirators and other protective clothing had BLLs that reached 50 mg/dL, this indicates that employees complying with the OSHA Lead in Construction standard are protected from high lead levels.

NIOSH reviewed data from Health Hazard Evaluations (HHE).[135] Of the final reports with BLL data, a 1980 bridge, tunnel, and elevated highway construction HHE reported BLLs from 25-96 mg/dL, with an average of 50 mg/dL, the third highest. A 1991 HHE on the same sector found BLLs that ranged from 9-61 mg/dL, with an average of 34 mg/dL.  A 1991 HHE of heavy construction found BLLs that ranged from 15-44 mg/dL, with an average of 34 mg/dL.

Another study ranked sectors by airborne lead data collected between 1979 and 1985. Bridge, tunnel, and elevated highways construction had 69 percent of the samples over the PEL; highway and street construction had 50 percent above the PEL. Painting and paperhanging had 36 percent above the PEL; electrical work had 30 percent above the PEL. No other construction industries were ranked. Note that residential painters were exposed to high airborne lead levels.

The NIOSH report also stated that studies indicated that construction employees were likely to take lead home on their clothes, in their cars, and in their hair, and this lead resulted in higher BLLs in their children. This does indicate the importance of the industrial hygiene portion of the OSHA Lead in Construction standard which reduces the lead that employees inadvertently bring home.

In 1998, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board asked NIOSH to evaluate worker exposures to lead-contaminated dust when removing residential lead-based paint and preparing surfaces containing lead-based paint for repainting.[136] NIOSH measured exposures to lead dust during three paint removal/surface preparation methods. Among NIOSH's findings were: worker exposures to lead during dry scraping/power sanding without functional dust collection controls were a health hazard; worker exposures during wet scraping/manual sanding were relatively low, but could be a health hazard if the activity is performed 8 hours or more; and after paint removal, high concentrations of lead in settled dust were found at distances of zero to 10 feet from the work surfaces.[137]

5.2.4 State Data

OSHA contacted several State blood lead registries to obtain additional data and discuss the data. Three State blood lead registries (California, Massachusetts, and Ohio) provided cumulative data on BLLs for employees over time. The Massachusetts data, because they cover two time periods, provide the only comparisons over time and across the time period since the standard was adopted.

Table 5-6 presents the data for the industrial construction sector and indicates the number of construction employees in California, as reported in the 1997 Construction Census, for these sectors. These numbers are provided only as a point of comparison; there is no basis for estimating the number of these employees who were exposed to lead or the number tested. In the construction industry, which has turnover rates about 70 percent a year,[138] the number of employees who may have been potentially exposed over the five-year period could be higher than the one-time employment number reported in the Census. The turnover rate, however, may be overstated because seasonal shifts in the workforce may mean that employees are rehired to do similar work. Because the data are cumulative, they cannot be compared directly to the ABLES data.

Table 5-6: Reports of California Industrial Construction Employee BLL- 1995-1999

      # Reports of BLL mg/dL
NAICS Code   1997 FTEs* 25-39 40-49 50-59 60+
23411 Highway & street construction 19,540 1      
23412 Bridge & tunnel construction 3,796 21 6 1  
2349 Other heavy construction 42,260 1 3   1
* For information only. The number of employees exposed or tested is unknown.

In 2002, California had 589 employees with BLLs at or above 25 mg/dL. Of these, 171 were in the construction sector. Bridge painters accounted for 87 of the cases (from 5 firms) and other bridge employees for 34 cases (2 firms). For 2003 through May 2004, CA had 568 reports with levels at or above 25 mg/dL. Of these 157 were in construction; 65 (from 1 firm) were other bridge employees and 60 were bridge painters (6 firms).[139] Table 5-7 presents the breakdown of bridge employees by BLLs.[140]

Table 5-7: Reports of California Bridge Painter BLL Data 2002-2004

  # Reports
Lead Level 2002 2003-2004
25-39 mg/dL 64 49
40-49 mg/dL 16 6
50-59 mg/dL 5 4
60+ mg/dL 2 1
Total* 87 60

The Massachusetts Blood Lead Registry data for April 1991-December 1995 and 1996 to 2001 identified, for the painting sector, those who were house and bridge painters.[141] Table 5-8 presents the Massachusetts data for the heavy industrial construction sectors reported. The Massachusetts data are of particular interest because since 1994, the Massachusetts Highway Department has required blood lead monitoring as a condition of its bridge painting contracts.[142] The data indicate a substantial decline in the number of employees with high BLLs from the early period to the more recent period. One concern with the data on painters, however, is that in the 1991-1995 report, painters were divided into bridge or house. In the more recent data, they were divided into bridge, house, and other, with the other (or unknown) category having as many entries as the house painters. The early data on bridge painters may, therefore, overstate the number of bridge painters represented in the data.

Table 5-8: Reports of Massachusetts Industrial Construction Employee BLL - 1991-2001
  # of Reports # of Firms
  40-59 mg/dL 60+ mg/dL    
  1991-1995 1996-2001 1991-1995 1996-2001 1991-1995 1996-2001
Highway Street   1       1
Bridge and elevated highway 13 1 2   5 1
Bridge painting 50 11 10 1 16 6
Structural steel 1 1 1   1 1


Ohio reports that from 1995 to April 2004, it had 672 reports in SIC code 1721 representing 74 individuals. Of these, 19 were known to be bridge painters; 26 had sandblaster in their titles. Table 5-9 presents the Ohio data.

Table 5-9: Reports of Ohio 1995-2004 BLL Data on Bridge Painters

Lead Level # Bridge Painters # Sandblasters
<25 mg/dL 8 > 2
25-39 mg/dL 1 > 1
40-49 mg/dL 4 > 6
50-59 mg/dL 0 > 4
60+ mg/dL 6 > 13
Total* 19 26
* Two individuals in 2 categories

Other States did not provide data over time, but provided information on their 2002 data. Florida indicated that 90 percent of its ABLES cases for painters were bridge painters.[143] In 2002, Florida reported 33 individuals in SIC 1721 with BLL above 40 mg/dL. Maryland also indicated that most of the painters in its data come from bridge and overpass construction. However, it is not clear whether many house painters were tested.

5.2.5 Iowa Study

Researchers associated with the University of Iowa conducted a study of 459 union construction employees, including painters, plumbers/pipefitters, ironemployees, laborers, and electricians.[144] The participants worked mainly on commercial and industrial projects. The study found that bridge employees who perform median cutting, blow-off of lead containing dust from exposed beams, and clean-up during renovation of bridges had the highest BLLs. BLLs, measured by the geometric mean, for painters, ironemployees, and plumbers were the next highest with BLLs for electricians being significantly lower. Overall, the geometric mean for the 459 employees was 4.7 mg/dL, only slightly higher than the 3 mg/dL national average reported in 1984. The authors noted that the BLLs were within the lower range of results from prior studies. Compliance with §1926.62 did not seem to be high. The authors found that 81 percent of the employees said that their employers did not provide work clothing, changing facilities, or washing facilities; some employees did not use these facilities even if provided.  For example, 61 percent were provided water for washing hands and face, but only 31 percent reported washing their hands before eating and only 10 percent washed before drinking.

5.2.6 Conclusion

The studies indicate that exposure levels in industrial construction, particularly bridges, can be very high. The steps that need to be taken to protect the environment increase the  risk to employees by increasing the concentrations of lead dust to which employees are potentially exposed. Data indicate that some bridge painters continue to suffer from elevated blood levels even in a state that requires testing and firm certification (or the equivalent). Certification requires an annual audit to ensure that the firm is complying with health and safety standards. The data indicate a lower number of other industrial construction employees suffering from high BLLs. These findings may be the result of several factors: the relatively small numbers of employees who specialize in work that would expose them to high levels of lead over extended periods of time (e.g., employees who use lead-containing mortar or who handle lead shielding); the short exposure times for other industrial work with lead (e.g., cable-splicing, pipe sealing); and failure to comply with the standard and test employees.

None of the data have baselines that would allow a determination of the number of employees exposed or potentially exposed to lead or the number tested. Consequently, it is not possible to determine what percentage of employees exposed have high BLLs. It should be noted, however, that the number of bridge painters nationally is relatively low so that the numbers presented by States may represent evidence of continuing problem, particularly as compliance with the standard is often required as a condition of obtaining bridge painting contracts.

5.3 Lead exposure in Renovation and Remodeling Work

As discussed in previous chapters, hundreds of thousands of building construction employees are involved in work that could result in exposures to lead. Many of these employees could be exposed to lead intermittently because lead is not present in many buildings and because even where lead is present, the work being done may not disturb it. Most provisions of the standard do not apply if the level of lead in the air does not reach the action level, and the standard does not apply if lead is not present.

The following section focuses exclusively on the presence of LBP in housing units. Because most government lead programs and rules are primarily concerned with exposures to children under six, they do not appear to have studied LBP in commercial and industrial buildings. Data from the Energy Information Administration indicates that the age distribution of non-residential buildings is similar to that of housing units, although floor space of non-residential building is more heavily weighted toward post 1960 construction.[145] It is possible that the existence of LBP in these buildings is similar to that of the housing stock. It is also possible, however, that LBP or paint with higher concentrations of lead was used for a longer period of time in non-residential buildings.

The 2002 Census data indicate that about 49 percent of painters who are not self-employed work for firms that specialize in residential construction. About 84 percent of painters who are not self-employed work for either residential specialist firms or firms that do not specialize.

5.3.1 Extent of Lead in the Housing Stock

To determine the extent to which lead exposures may occur in residential renovation and remodeling, it is necessary to estimate the extent to which LBP exists in the housing stock. Data on this issue are not consistent. In a 2002 paper, HUD stated that for post 1960 housing (63 percent of the housing stock), only 0-2 percent of interior surfaces have LBP and 0-12 percent had exterior LBP.[146] The HUD study estimated that 25 percent of the housing stock had lead hazards. Assuming that this estimate is accurate and adjusting for new construction since 1998, which must not contain LBP, the current estimate of housing with LBP hazards would be 25 million units or 21 percent of the housing stock. Table 5-10 summarizes the estimates. The numbers have been adjusted to include units the HUD study excluded (vacant, institutional, homes for the elderly), using the assumption that the excluded units would have the same characteristics as the included units, and adding units completed from 1999 through September 2005. These numbers are probably upper bounds on the number of units with LBP hazards because of the following:
  • New units continue to be added to the housing stock, none of which contain LBP.
  • Older units that may contain LBP are being demolished and replaced.[147] [148]
  • Lead abatement activities continue to remove or encapsulate LBP to eliminate the hazard in existing units.
  • Even without specific lead abatement efforts, renovation and remodeling of older units may be removing or covering LBP to reduce the hazard.
Table 5-10: Total Housing Units and Units with Lead Hazards (1000's)
  Total Units # with Lead Hazard # w LBP Hazard Percent of Period Stock with LBP Hazard LBP Hazard as a Percent of Total Housing Stock
1999-2004 10,500        
1978-1998 34,800 1,219 1,085 3 1
1960-1977 32,600 2,738 2,437 7 2
1940-1959 24,100 10,326 9,191 38 8
<1940 20,400 13,827 12,306 60 10
Total 122,500 28,100 25,018   21
Source: Jacobs et al., plus U.S. Census data on 1999-2004 (March) housing unit completions.

As shown in Table 5-10, about 3 million housing units are estimated to have lead hazards without LBP hazards. Jacobs et al. state that of these about 270,000 had soil lead hazards; the occupants of another 700,000 units reported having a lead hobby or an occupation potentially using lead, all of which contribute to interior dust lead levels.

Another approach to determining the extent of lead hazard is to consider the building components coated with LBP. These data are particularly relevant to this analysis because the time employees spend on different components varies widely. For example, window removal takes only a few minutes, while preparing walls for repainting can take hours. The HUD survey results are presented in Table 5-11.

Table 5-11: Building Components Coated with LBP by Year of Construction (Percent)

Component Type All Years 1978-1998 1960-1977 1940-1959 Pre 1940
Interior          
Walls, floors, ceilings 2 0 1 2 7
Windows 9 1 2 6 21
Doors 7 0 1 7 22
Trim 5 0 2 4 15
Other 4 0 1 2 12
Exterior          
Walls 14 0 9 18 34
Windows 25 0 12 30 41
Doors 15 2 5 29 33
Trim 11 3 8 16 24
Porch 15 1 7 25 28
Other 18 0 8 37 37
Source: Jacobs et al.

The HUD survey also determined the percentage of units with deteriorated LBP, which is relevant because LBP in good condition can be painted over without disturbing the surface and creating lead dust. Of the units with interior LBP, approximately 28 percent have significant deterioration; about 43 percent of exterior LBP is deteriorated.[149] If the numbers in Tables 5-10 and 5-11 are combined and the highest number of units with LBP for each time period is used, about 6 percent of interior painting jobs and 19 percent of exterior painting jobs would involve LBP. Taking the condition of the LBP into account results in 10 percent of all units with deteriorated LBP and the potential for LBP exposure. Using just the data from Table 5-10 results in estimates of 7 percent of interior and 19 percent of exterior paint with deteriorated LBP.[150]

The estimates of units with deteriorated LBP are markedly higher than 2001 American Housing Survey data on paint in poor condition; for pre-1980 housing, about 3.6 percent have peeling paint or plaster. The reason for the discrepancy between the HUD estimates and the AHS estimates is probably the low threshold that HUD set for interior deterioration: one or two windows with chipped paint, 2 square feet of interior surface, or 20 square feet of exterior surfaces. If the HUD percentage of housing units in each age group with LBP is multiplied by the number of units the 2001 AHS classifies as having peeling paint or plaster, the total number of units with peeling LBP would be about 1 million or 1 percent of the occupied units AHS listed.

These numbers must be treated with caution in predicting potential employee exposures because unlike some other types of maintenance, repair, and renovation, painting may be more likely to be done by the owner. Painting contractors are probably more likely to do exteriors than the owners, more likely to do entire interior units, including all components, and more likely to do rental units (30 percent LBP hazards) than owner-occupied units (23 percent LBP hazards). These considerations imply that estimates of the number of painting jobs with potential exposures would be on the higher end of the estimates.

5.3.2  Likelihood of Exposure

Estimating the percentage of time that painters are being exposed to LBP is complicated by the distribution of LBP in the existing housing stock and by the significant amount of time painters spend on new construction. Table 5-12 shows the percentage of revenue derived from painting new construction versus renovation/remodeling or maintenance work. As can be seen from the table, the time spent on new construction varies; it is also possible that some painters do only new construction while others work only on existing homes.  The percentage of work on new construction has increased since the 1997 Census.

Table 5-12: Percent of Painting Work on New Construction

Building Type Percent New/Total
Single Family Homes 52
Apartment Buildings 37
Office 39
Other Building 42
Source: 2002 Economic Census, Painting and Wall Covering Contractors

Census data on 2002 expenditures for renovations and remodeling in owner-occupied units indicate that 40 percent of expenditures were on units built after 1980 (35 percent of the housing stock); work on pre-1960 units is in proportion to its part of the housing stock (37 percent). Painting, the activity most likely to expose employees to lead hazards, represents about 8.5 percent of expenditures (lower for owner-occupied and higher for rentals). These figures include work carried out by the owners and, therefore, overstate the level of contract work. Nonetheless, given the frequency with which interior and exterior surfaces need painting (or are painted by new owners), it may be reasonable to assume that the likelihood of a unit being painted is the same regardless of the age of the structure.

As indicated in Table 5-10, not all units with lead hazards have LBP hazards. Some units present hazards because of soil lead that has accumulated in the unit. The HUD survey further indicated that one third of the units with LBP in good condition had interior lead hazards and 61 percent of the units with significantly deteriorated LBP had interior lead hazards (by HUD's definition).

Painters spend relatively short times on any single job. If the number of painting jobs that may involve potential LBP exposures ranges from 10 percent to 25 percent, employees who do only maintenance or renovation painting (i.e., no new construction) will spend a majority of their time at work sites where no LBP hazards are present; however, they will also spend a significant minority of their time at work sites where there are LBP hazards. In addition, the LBP exposures may occur only during the preparatory work on some components (e.g., window frames).  If the employees work on new construction as well, the percentages would be lower.

Because of the variation in LBP in the housing stock and the variation in the size of housing units, estimating the percentage of time that an employee will be exposed to lead is difficult. For example, if a painting firm spends some of its time painting apartment units between tenants, the time required to complete a job can be expected to be one or two days at most, both because rental units have about half the floor space of houses[151] and because the units will be empty, shortening the preparation time. Painters in most parts of the U.S. will be able to complete fewer exterior than interior jobs because of weather delays. To estimate the number of jobs per year that could involve LBP, the analysis assumes the following:
  • A painting firm could complete 50 interior or 50 exterior jobs per year.
  • The age of the housing units painted would be distributed proportionately to the number of units in the entire housing stock.
  • No new construction would be included.
  • LBP would be present in the percentage of each age group based on the highest percentage for a building component in that age group (usually windows).
  • Deteriorated LBP would be present in 29 percent of interiors with LBP and 43 percent of exteriors.[152]
Table 5-13 presents the number of estimated interior and exterior painting jobs with LBP and deteriorated LBP paint.

Table 5-13: Estimated Number of Painting Jobs/Year Involving LBP
(Assumed Total 50 Jobs/Year)

  Number of Jobs Number of Jobs with LBP
  Unit Construction Date    
  Post 1978 1960-1977 1941-1959 <1941 LBP Deteriorated LBP
Interior 20 13.5 10 8.5 3 1
Exterior 20 13.5 10 8.5 8 3

Because only 1 in 50 houses built between 1960 and 1978 had any interior LBP and about 1 in 14 built between 1941 and 1959 had LBP, in practical terms painters are unlikely to encounter interior LBP unless they work on pre-1941 housing, where 1 in 5 have LBP on windows (but only 1 in 14 have LBP on interior walls). The analysis also estimated the number of days an employee might be exposed, based on the following assumptions:
  • An employee could do 50 jobs a year (either interior or exterior).
  • Interior painting jobs average five days, exterior 3 days.
  • Preparation work for an interior job averages 2 days, with sanding and scraping taking one day.
  • Preparation work for an exterior job averages 1 day.
  • The age of the housing units painted would be distributed proportionately to the number of units in the entire housing stock.
  • No new construction would be done.
  • LBP would be present in the percentage of each age group based on the highest percentage for a building component in that age group (usually windows).
  • Deteriorated LBP would be present in 29 percent of interiors with LBP and 43 percent of exteriors.
Based on these assumptions, painters would encounter work sites with interior LBP on 6 percent of their working days, deteriorated interior LBP on 2 percent of the days. High exposure activity (scraping and sanding) with LBP would represent 1 percent of their working days; high exposure activity with deteriorated LBP would represent 0.3 percent of their working days. For exterior jobs, painters would encounter work sites with exterior LBP on 16 percent of their working days, deteriorated interior LBP on 7 percent of the days. High exposure activity (scraping and sanding) with LBP would represent 5 percent of their working days; high exposure activity with deteriorated LBP would represent 2 percent of their working days. If employees fail to remove the dust, the hazard would continue beyond the high exposure activity.

Firms that specialize in older or historic housing would encounter LBP more frequently than these estimates as would firms that work in areas with more older houses. If a firm works only on pre-1941 houses, painters are estimated to spend about 6 percent of their time in high exposure activity with deteriorated interior LBP and about 12 percent of their time in high exposure activity with deteriorated exterior LBP. These estimates may represent an upper bound. If the AHS figures on peeling paint were used instead of the HUD figures, all of the estimates would be substantially lower.

Another factor to be considered on pre-1940 houses is the concentration of lead in LBP. A HUD National Survey conducted in 1989 and 1990 found that the average loading of lead in LBP was two to three times higher in pre-1940 houses than it was in houses built between 1960 and 1978. Other studies found pre-1920 units had average lead concentrations 10 times higher than post-1945 units.[153] Consequently, employees working on pre-1940 houses are both more likely to encounter LBP and to be exposed to higher lead concentrations if they engage in activities that create lead dust.

The estimates in Table 5-13 are based on the national distribution of housing units by age, but the actual distribution in particular areas varies widely.  According to the American Housing Survey, the median year that housing units in the U.S. were built is 1969; in the Boston metropolitan area, the median year built is 1948; in Phoenix it is 1983. In 1998, 43 percent of the housing units in Boston had been built prior to 1940. In 2002, only two percent of the units in Phoenix had been built prior to 1940.[154] Nationally, 11 percent of suburban houses predate 1940, but 27 percent of housing units in central cities do.[155] Consequently, employee exposures will vary by region and, within regions, by the areas in which firms operate. Exhibit 5-1 shows the variation in ages of housing in five metropolitan areas with housing data reported in 2002.

As noted above, the analysis is based on housing units, not all buildings, because data are not available on the presence of LBP in other types of buildings. The basic characteristics of the jobs, however, are similar because painting on existing buildings is usually done quickly; commercial and office maintenance repainting is usually done between tenants or when the building is unoccupied (weekends, evenings). The exception to this is when major renovation and remodeling occurs (when demolition may create lead dust) or when exteriors are cleaned.

Exhibit 5-1
Exhibit 5-1 Percentage of Occupied Units by Date of Construction - Selected Metropolitan Areas

5.3.3 Blood Lead Levels in Residential Construction Employees

This section discusses the studies that have been done that address exposure levels and blood lead levels in residential construction employees.

5.3.3.1 NIOSH Report to Congress

As discussed in Section 5.3, in January 1997, NIOSH submitted a report to Congress on protecting employees from LBP hazards.[156] The report included a review of data from state and other studies of residential construction, which are summarized here.

A Washington State study conducted site visits and measurements at five sites where pre-1950 homes were being painted; exposures for nine employees were measured. Table 5-14 shows the 8-hour TWA lead exposure by activity and the lead concentration in the paint.

Table 5-14: Washington State Lead Exposure During Surface Preparation for Residential Painting
House Number Task 8-Hour TWA
mg/m3
Paint Lead Concentration (%)
1 Power sanding/grinding 1007-2142 5-17
2 Hand Scraping 31-108 1.2-3.3
3 Hand Scraping/Painting 1.2-4.1 5.7
4 Hand Scraping/Sanding 0-1.2 <0.001
5 Power Sanding/Grinding 100 <0.001

The study concluded that painters were being exposed to hazardous levels, use of personal protective equipment and hygiene practices was inadequate, and painters may increase surface lead contamination in residences. Measurement of the nine painters' BLLs, however, indicated that all had relatively low levels (2 to 18 mg/dL). The study attributed this to the low frequency of work on older houses and low frequency of the use of power sanding/grinding methods.

A California study of home painters conducted exposure assessments for 25 full-shift employees exposures and 54 task-based exposures.  The mean full shift exposure was 57 mg/m3 (range 1 to 548 mg/m3); six exceeded the OSHA PEL. Task-specific exposures ranged from 2 mg/m3 to 899 mg/m3. The study did not measure BLLs. (The data are presented in Chapter 2, Tables 2-3 and 2-4).

Two HHEs on general contractors (warehouses and industrial buildings) and single-family homes reported BLLs that ranged from 3-21 and 0-27, respectively with averages of 10 mg/dL and 6 mg/dL. NIOSH noted that the lack of correlation between airborne exposures and BLLs was because personal protective equipment (PPE) was used.

5.3.3.2 EPA Report

In January 2000, EPA presented a final report, prepared by Batelle, that summarized a four-phase study of lead exposures associated with renovation and remodeling.[157] In Phase I, researchers collected field samples for six renovation and remodeling activities: removal of large structures, window replacement, carpet removal, HVAC repair or replacement, surface preparation, and repairs with small surface disruption. The study found that airborne lead levels in an employee's breathing zone were often high, averaging more than 100 mg/m3 for paint removal, interior demolition, and sawing, and greater than 49 mg/m3 for drilling, carpet removal, window replacement, and exterior surface preparation. These exposures do not represent average 8-hour exposures, but some of the exposures were high enough that conducting the activity even for a short time would result in an 8-hour TWA above the PEL.[158] (See Table 2-2.)

Phase II of the study collected information and BLLs from 585 renovation and remodeling employees in two cities. The employees spent an average of 17 days in the previous month on R&R work, 11 of which were spent in pre-1950 homes. The study indicated that 90 percent of the employees did not use a respirator, 88 percent did not use recommended clean-up methods, 97 percent used dry paint removal methods, 67 percent had received no materials on lead hazards, and 87 percent had no lead exposure training. Table 5-15 presents summary demographic and work practice data. Table 5-16 presents data on work practices for paint removal and clean up.

EPA collected BLL from 581 employees. The geometric mean BLL for all employees was 4.5 mg/dL. Only 9.2 percent had BLLs above 10 mg/dL, 1.2 percent were above 25 mg/dL, and only one was above 40 mg/dL. Drywall employees, painters, and window installers had higher levels (6.1, 5.9, and 5.8 mg/dL respectively) than floor layers (2.8 mg/dL). Table 5-16 presents the geometric means by employee group. EPA also developed a model to investigate the relationship between BLLs and exposures associated with specific activities and specific periods of exposure. The number of days an activity was performed in pre-1950 buildings was used as a measure of short-term exposure. Table 5-18 presents the predicted BLLs.

The study suggested that activities could result in significant increases in BLLs, but the increases "were generally so small as to be of little practical consequence." It concluded:
The results of this study indicated that although R&R employees may be exposed to high levels of lead during the conduct of their work, there was little evidence of elevated blood-lead concentrations among the employees. It is possible that there exist specialized groups of R&R employees who may have higher lead exposures,
Table 5-15:  Demographic and Work Practice Summary, EPA Phase II
    Union Carpenter Non-Union Carpenter Drywall Employee Floor Layer Laborer Painter Supervisor Window Installer Other Total
Sample Size   159 105 64 82 56 34 57 14 14 585
Smoke Smoke, not on job 5.0% 7.6% 6.3% 9.8% 8.9% 8.8% 0% 14.3% 7.1% 6.7%
Smoke on job 30.2% 55.2% 39.1% 41.5% 53.6% 55.9% 33.3% 28.6% 35.7% 41.4%
Respirator Use Don't Use 57.2% 65.7% 67.2% 70.4%(b) 39.3% 32.4% 68.4% 78.6% 42.9% 59.8%
Use Dust-mask 38.4% 21.9% 31.3% 22.2% 37.5% 47.1% 26.3% 7.1% 21.4% 30.5%
Use Respirator 4.4% 12.4% 1.6% 7.4% 23.2% 20.6% 5.3% 14.3% 35.7% 9.8%
Occupational Exposures Yes 30.2% 36.2% 31.3% 8.5% 35.7% 29.4% 19.3% 21.4% 35.7% 27.7%
Hobbies with Pb Exposure Yes 45.9% 69.5% 59.4% 52.4% 75.0% 70.6% 50.9% 71.4% 64.3% 58.3%
Received Pb Training Yes 16.2% 16.2% 6.3% 8.5% 16.1% 20.6% 22.8% 14.3% 21.4% 13.2%
Age of Home Pre-1950 41.5% 48.6% 39.1% 24.4% 58.9% 41.2% 31.6% 21.4% 50% 40.5%
1950-1978 40.3% 40% 35.9% 46.3% 28.6% 47.1% 38.6% 50% 42.9% 40%
Post 1978 18.2% 11.4% 25% 29.3% 12.5% 11.8% 29.8% 28.6% 7.1% 19.5%
Performed Home Renovation in Previous Year Yes 33.3% 35.2% 45.3% 23.2% 32.1% 32.4% 43.9% 14.3% 35.7% 34%
Source: Lead Exposure Associated with Renovation and Remodeling Activities: Phase II, Employee Characterization and Blood-Lead Study, May 1997 (EPA 747-R-96-006).

Table 5-16: Work Practice Summary for Paint Removal and Clean Up, EPA Phase II

Job Category
Union Carpenter Non-Union Carpenter Drywall Employee Floor Layer Laborer Painter Supervisor Window Other Total
Paint Removal Dry power-sanding 35.6% 53.1% 59.1% 44.7% 54.1% 51.6% 52.6% 22.2% 45.5% 48.5%
Dry hand-sanding 66.7% 72.8% 86.4% 42.1% 75.7% 87.1% 89.5% 77.8% 72.7% 72.0%
Dry scraping 66.2% 80.2% 63.6% 89.5% 86.5% 74.2% 47.4% 88.9% 81.8% 75.8%
Burning, torching, or a heat gun 15.6% 19.8% 22.7% 26.3% 37.8% 41.9% 5.3% 22.2% 27.3% 24.2%
Wet-scraping 2.2% 8.6% 22.7% 2.6% 43.2% 6.52% 0% 11.1% 27.3% 12.3%
Wet-sanding 4.4% 8.6% 13.6% 0% 32.4% 12.9% 0% 0% 18.2% 10.2%
Chemical stripping 13.3% 25.9% 40.9% 10.5% 29.7% 29.0% 5.3% 22.2% 27.3% 22.5%
Use dust collector when sanding 11.1% 16.0% 22.7% 21.1% 40.5% 22.6% 21.1% 22.2% 27.3% 21.2%
# who performed paint removal 45 81 22 38 37 31 19 9 11 293
Cleanup Broom 100% 98.0% 98.1% 100.0% 98.1% 97.0% 100.0% 92.3% 100.0% 98.8%
Vacuum 46.8% 69.6% 38.5% 43.5% 55.8% 48.5% 41.0% 69.2% 81.8% 52.3%
HEPA vacuum 0.9% 2.0% 3.9% 1.4% 19.2% 6.1% 0% 7.7% 45.5% 5.0%
Wet mop with TSP 1.8% 11.8% 7.7% 4.3% 25.0% 18.2% 2.6% 15.4% 18.2% 9.3%
Clean power tools using any method 26.1% 42.2% 32.7% 40.6% 55.8% 30.3% 30.8% 69.2% 72.7% 38.4%
Clean tools using Compressed Air 15.3% 26.5% 7.7% 14.5% 40.4% 15.2% 12.8% 538.5% 63.6% 21.0%
# who performed cleanup 111 102 52 69 52 33 39 13 11 482
Source: Lead Exposure Associated with Renovation and Remodeling Activities: Phase II, Employee Characterization and Blood-Lead Study, May 1997 (EPA 747-R-96-006).

for example, employees specializing in historic renovations. However, the WCBS study included employees in cities with a documented lead problem who were conducting a significant amount of work in older buildings. In fact, the study was weighted toward highly exposed general R&R employees.

Table 5-17: Employee BLLs from EPA Study, Phase II

Employee Group # BLL mg/dL Geometric Mean 95 % Confidence Interval
Union Carpenter 159 4.4 (4.0 , 4.8)
Non-Union Carpenter 104 5.0 (4.5 , 5.7)
Drywall Employee 64 5.8 (5.0 , 6.8)
Floor Layer 81 2.6 (2.3 , 3.0)
Laborer 54 4.9 (4.1 , 5.7)
Painter 34 7.2 (5.8 , 8.8)
Supervisor 57 3.8 (3.2 , 4.4)
Window Installer 14 5.4 (3.9 , 7.4)
Other 14 5.3 (3.9 , 7.3)


Table 5-18: Predicted Employee Blood-Lead Concentrations Associated with Low, Medium, and High Exposure Indices for Each Employee Group
Low Exposure Index Medium Exposure Index High Exposure Index
5 Years over Career0 Days Pre-1950 1-4 Weeks in Last Year 10 Years over Career10 Days Pre-1950 9-26 Weeks in Last Year 25 Years over Career 25 Days Pre-1950 >26 Weeks in Last Year
Geometric Mean 95% C.I. Geometric Mean 95% C.I. Geometric Mean 95% C.I.
Union Carpenter 4.0 (3.5 , 4.5) 4.7 (4.3 , 5.2) 6.4 (5.5 , 7.3)
Non Union Carpenter 3.9 (3.3 , 4.5) 4.6 (4.1 , 5.2) 6.2 (5.3 , 7.1)
Drywall Employee 5.0 (4.3 , 5.9) 6.0 (5.2 , 6.9) 8.1 (6.8 , 9.6)
Floor Layer 2.5 (2.2 , 2.9) 3.0 (2.6 , 3.4) 4.0 (3.4 , 4.8)
Laborer 3.5 (2.9 , 4.2) 4.2 (3.5 , 4.9) 5.6 (4.6 , 6.8)
Other 4.2 (3.1 , 5.8) 5.0 (3.7 , 6.8) 6.8 (4.9 , 9.3)
Painter 5.1 (4.1 , 6.3) 6.0 (4.9 , 7.4) 8.1 (6.4 , 10.2)
Supervisor 3.4 (2.9 , 4.1) 4.1 (3.5 , 4.8) 5.5 (4.6 , 6.6)
Window Installer 4.4 (3.2 , 6.1) 5.2 (3.8 , 7.1) 7.0 (5.1 , 9.6)

Phase IV of the study was the employee characterization and BLL study of employees and homeowners performing R&R in historic homes.[159] The study was similar to Phase II, but adding homeowners performing the work themselves. The study included 163 employees and 83 homeowners. The employees had spent an average of 21 days performing activities in historic homes in the previous 30 days. Employees and homeowners used respirators only half the time. The majority of employees had not been trained (76 percent) and had not received educational material (67 percent). Over 75 percent of both groups performed dry surface preparation. About a third used chemical or heating methods to strip paint. The geometric mean BLL for all employees was 5.7 mg/dL and 4.5 mg/dL for owners. About 20 percent had BLLs above 10 mg/dL, 2.9 percent were above 25 mg/dL, and three had levels above 40 mg/dL. Table 5-19 presents a summary of the employee exposure data; Table 5-20 provides EPA's predicted changes in BLLs associated with 10 days of work in pre-1940 homes.

Table 5-19: Employee BLLs from EPA Study Phase IV

Employee Group # Monitored Geometric Mean BLL (mg/dL) % Used Respirator % Received Some Lead Training
Carpenters 47 6.1 28 30
Laborers 42 4.2 16 9
Painters 44 6.3 30 32
Other Employees 26 5.0 16 18
Homeowners That Perform R&R 82 4.4 16 N/A
Source: www.epa.gov/lead/rrfinalsummaryreport.pdf

Table 5-20: Predicted Changes in High Risk Employee BLL (mg/dL) Associated with 10 Days of Work in Pre-1940 Homes

  Based on Covariate Adjusted Model
Activity Base Level Level When Employee Conducts an Additional 10 Days per month of Activity
Large Structure Removal 5.7 5.7
Paint Removal/Prepare Surface 4.7 5.4
Window/Door Casement Removal 5.3 6.0
Carpet Removal 5.8 5.4
Cleanup 4.4 5.2
General R&R 4.0 5.5
Source: www.epa.gov/lead/rrfinalsummaryreport.pdf

EPA concluded the "R&R employees may be exposed to high levels of environmental lead while conducting certain activities in certain environments. However, there is little evidence of elevated blood-lead concentrations in a population of general R&R employees who conduct a variety of activities." EPA also stated that "Because low blood-lead concentrations were observed among R&R employees, long-term occupant exposure should be stressed in determining the need for employee training, certification, or educational materials."

The EPA study tended to show that house painters and renovation employees, though sometimes subject to high airborne lead levels, had low BLLs. The State data from Massachusetts, California, and Ohio, however, indicate a much higher number of those employees with high BLLs. It should be noted that only a small percentage of these employees are tested, so, as discussed below, the actual percentage of employees with elevated BLLs is greater than the indicated percentages.

5.3.3.3 State Data

As noted above, the California, Massachusetts, and Ohio Blood Lead Registries provide cumulative (but not time series) data on BLLs for employees over time. Table 5-21 presents the data for the residential construction sector; the number of employees is provided, but cannot be considered a baseline because the number of employees exposed is unknown. The numbers for painters include bridge and other industrial painters.

Table 5-21: Reports of California Construction Employee BLL- 1995-1999

      # Reports with BLLs mg/dL
NAICS code   1997
FTEs
25-39 40-49 50-59 60+
23321 Single-family housing construction 61,091 5 1    
23322 Multifamily housing construction 5,848 1      
2333 Nonresidential building construction 57,649 13 4 2 1
2351 Plumbing, heating, & air-conditioning contractors 64,396 3 1 1  
2352 Painting & wall covering contractors 25,146 112 34 9 9
2353 Electrical contractors 61,932 2 3    
23541 Masonry & stone contractors 14,518 65 13 3 2
23594 Wrecking & demolition contractors 3,306 37 4 2 1
23595 Building equip & other machinery installation contractors 6,427 4 1    
23599 All other special trade contractors 24,783 26 7 1  

In 2002, California reported that 14 non-bridge painters had BLLs between 25 mg/dL and 39 mg/dL; 1 other painter had a BLL between 50 mg/dL and 59 mg/dL. In 2003-2004, CA reported one non-bridge painter in each of the 25-39 mg/dL, 40-49 mg/dL , and 50-59 categories.[160]

The Massachusetts Blood Lead Registry data for 1991 to 2001 identified, for the painting sector, those who were house and bridge painters; the data are also the only source of data specific to lead abatement employees. Table 5-22 presents the Massachusetts data for selected construction sectors. The 1996-2001 data, unlike the data for the earlier period, divided painters into bridge, house, and other, where the type of painting being done by those listed as "other" was unknown. Some of these may have been bridge painters or other industrial painters, some may be house painters, some may specialize in commercial painting.  There were as many cases in the "other" category as there were in the residential painting.

Table 5-22: Reports on Massachusetts Industrial Construction Employee BLL - 1991-2001

  # of Reports # of Firms
  40-59 mg/dL 60+ mg/dL
  1991-1995 1996-2001 1991-1995 1996-2001 1991-1995 1996-2001
General contractors 0 2 1 1 1 1
Residential Builders 2 4 2 3 3 6
House painting 65 43 36 14 64 24
Other painting 43 13 25  
Electrical 1   0   1  
Carpentry 1   1   1  
Floor work 1   1   1  
Roofing 1   0   1  
Wrecking and demolition 10 3 3 0 6 2
Lead abatement 151 60 21 9 99 37
Other construction 2 5 1 1 1 2

The lead abatement numbers are of particular interest because Massachusetts requires that employees be tested as a condition of their license. The numbers, therefore, may represent a reasonable estimate of elevated BLLs in the sector. Assuming that the firms with employees had 10 employees each and adjusted for turnover for the six years from 1996 to 2001, slightly less than three percent of lead abatement employees have BLLs above 40 mg/dL and about 0.3 percent have levels above 60 mg/dL. These percentages may reflect compliance with both OSHA and EPA/HUD requirements as well as sporadic exposures to lead; in Massachusetts, as in other states, many licensed firms are primarily engaged in other work (painting, general contracting) and provide lead abatement as a service when needed. [161]

For house painters, the 1996-2001 cases above 40 mg/dL represent about 1 percent of all employee painters; cases above 60 mg/dL represent about 0.3 percent of painters (using the 2002 Census data on employee painters, but not accounting for turnover over the five-year period). If non-employee painters were being tested, the percentages would be a third as high. The director of the MA Blood Lead Registry stated that "it is generally believed a very small percentage of house painters, self-employed or employees, are screened for lead." Further, the MA Department of Occupational Safety analysis indicates that since the lead standard was promulgated, bridge painting firms have improved the percentage that have regular medical monitoring, but house painting firms have not.[162]

The Department's report on its program from 1991-1995 stated that while 97 percent of the lead abatement employees were tested because of employer programs, only 35 percent of painters with elevated levels (bridge and house) were tested through employer programs.[163] Because painters are being tested without employer programs, presumably in response to symptoms of lead poisoning (e.g., colic, anemia), the data probably understate the percentage of painters with elevated BLLs. On the one hand, given the relatively low revenues of painting firms and the competitive nature of the business, it would be surprising if every employee with symptoms of lead poisoning took the time to seek medical treatment and testing, which implies that the percentages may be low. On the other hand, the nature of a painter's work may, in effect, create medical removals simply because the next jobs an exposed employee performs may not involve LBP or lead hazards; the low percentages may indicate that relatively few painters are exposed frequently enough to result in elevated BLLs. An additional factor to be considered in evaluating the Massachusetts data is the high percentage of older houses in Massachusetts (median year of construction 1948). The Massachusetts house painters may represent the high end of potentially exposed specialty trade contractors.

Ohio data for 1995 through April 2004 includes 31 painters (other than bridge and sand blasters) with BLLs shown in Table 5-23.

Table 5-23: Reports on Ohio Painters 1995-2004

Lead Level Painters
<25 mg/dL 8
25-39 mg/dL 9
40-49 mg/dL 4
50-59 mg/dL 1
60+ mg/dL 9
Total 31

As discussed above, Florida indicated that bridge painters represent 90 percent of their cases of elevated BLLs. Maryland, as noted above, stated that there were few house painters in their data and most of those were non-occupational. Maryland also estimated that 10 percent to 20 percent of their cases were self-employed and said that most were seasonal employees from out of state.

This chapter discusses OSHA's records on compliance with § 1926.62. It first discusses the general history of compliance and inspections from 1993, when the standard was adopted, to 2003, reviewing the number of violations over time and the industries involved. The second section discusses these data specifically for the painting sector. The third section compares compliance with the lead standard to compliance with other construction standards. The last section describes the leading causes of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the construction industry as a way of comparing the risk of lead exposure to other workplace hazards.

6.1 General History

From 1993 to 2003, OSHA found 12,556 violations of § 1926.62.[164] For the period 1994 to 2002 (the years for which complete data are available), there were an average of 1,205 violations per year. The number of violations in any one of those years ranged from 981 citations in 1999 to 1,594 violations in 1994 (see chart below). The average number of violations per inspection with at least one violation of the standard ranged from 6.1 in 1993 to 1.7 in 1999. For the whole period, there were on average 2.6 violations per inspection that found any violations of the standard.

Total Number of 1926.62 Violations for all SIC Codes, 1993-2003*
* The standard was not in effect for all of 1993; data for 2003 had not been completed.

6.1.1  Violations by Industry

The painting and paper hanging industry (SIC 1721) was the industry most often found in violation of § 1926.62. From 1993 to 2003, OSHA documented 4,623 violations of the rule by painting and paper hanging firms. Classified within this category are a wide range of firms including those specializing in painting bridges, commercial and industrial facilities, and residences. It should be noted that most residential painting firms are never inspected.

Table 6-1: Violations by Industry Sector 1993-2003

SIC Code Number Of Violations
1721 - Painting And Paper Hanging 4,623
1799 - Miscellaneous Special Trade Contractors 1,867
1795 - Wrecking And Demolition Contractors 1,398
1542 - General Contractors-Nonresidential Buildings, Other Than Industrial 678
1622 - Bridge, Tunnel, and Elevated Highway Construction 657

After painting and paper hanging, the industry most often found in violation of § 1926.62 were miscellaneous special trade contractors (SIC 1799). OSHA documented 1,867 violations by firms of this type during the 1993-2003 period. This industry sector includes the following groups that could easily be exposed to lead: contractors who clean or sand-blast building exteriors, contractors who strip paint and wallpaper, and contractors for lead-burning. Lead abatement contractors used to be categorized under this industrial code. (Because OSHA still uses SIC codes rather than NAICS codes, it is not possible to determine whether lead abatement contractors are still being classified in SIC code 1799 or whether they are now being classified with waste remediation contractors.)

The third-most cited industry sector during the period was wrecking and demolition contracting (SIC 1795). During the 1993-2003 period, OSHA found 1,398 violations by wrecking and demolition companies. This industry sector includes contractors primarily engaged in the wrecking and demolition of buildings and other structures (except marine structures).

6.1.2 Violations by Subsection of the Rule

The subsection of the lead in construction rule most often violated by industry as a whole was subsection (d), which concerns the initial exposure assessment, the protection of employees during the initial assessment, and the monitoring required if the initial determination shows the possibility of exposure at or above the action level. Of the 12,556 violations, 5,044 violations (40 percent) stemmed from the requirements in subsection (d) of the rule.

Within subsection (d), the requirement most often violated was the requirement that employers make an initial assessment whether any employee could be exposed to lead at or above the action level. It has been the Agency's position that to do this assessment, the employer must collect personal samples representative of a full shift, including one sample for each job classification in each work area for each shift or for the shift with the highest exposure level. That employers were not doing initial assessments of their work sites indicates a fundamental failure to comply with the standard.

The next most commonly violated requirements of subsection (d) concern the protection of employees performing certain tasks while the employer is still performing the initial assessment described above. For example, during that time period, employers are required to provide respirators and protective clothing for employees. Table 6-2 lists the particular requirements for interim protection that were most commonly violated by the construction industry.

Table 6-2: Requirements of Subsection (d) Most Often Violated, 1993-2003

standard Subsection Number Of Violations
(d)(1)(I) - Employer Required To Initially Determine Whether Any Employee May Be Exposed To Lead At Or Above The Action Level 1,254
(d)(2)(V)(1) - Interim Respiratory Protection 451
(d)(2)(V)(5) - Interim Biological Monitoring 435
(d)(2)(V)(2) - Interim Protective Clothing And Equipment 423
(d)(2)(V)(3) - Interim Changing Areas 394
(d)(2)(V)(6) - Interim Safety Training 394

These requirements apply to employees doing the following tasks where lead-based coatings or paints are present: manual demolition, manual scraping or sanding, using a heat gun, or cleaning power tools with dust collection systems. (The requirements also apply to spray-painting with LBP, but industry indicates that LBP is no longer used).

Subsection (i) of the standard, which concerns hygiene facilities and practices, was the second most commonly violated subsection of the standard. This subsection includes requirements for change areas, showers, and facilities for handwashing and eating. There were 1,361 violations of subsection (i), nearly 11 percent of the total.

6.2 Compliance in the Painting Industry

As noted above, the painting industry (SIC 1721) was the industry most often found in violation of the construction in lead standard. This section analyzes in greater detail the violations by painting and paper hanging firms.

6.2.1  Violations Over Time

From 1993 to 2003, OSHA found 4,623 violations of § 1926.62 by painting and paper hanging firms. As shown below, the number of violations in any one year ranged from a low of 286 in 2002 to a high of 773 in 1993 (even though the interim final standard was issued in May of that year).[165] On average, there were 411 violations annually over the period 1994 to 2002 (the years for which full-year data are available).

Number of 1926.62 Violations for SIC Code 1721, 1993-2003
* the standard was not in effect for all of 1993; data for 2003 had not been completed.

6.2.2  Violations by Subsection of the Rule

The subsections of § 1926.62 most often violated by painting firms roughly paralleled those of industry as a whole. About one-third (34 percent) of the violations concerned subsection (d), which requires an initial exposure assessment and interim protection of employees during the initial assessment. As with industry in general, subsection (i) was the next most commonly violated subsection of the standard for the painting and paper hanging industry; 518 violations (11 percent) were for subsection (i), which governs hygiene facilities and practices.

The third most commonly violated subsection of the standard was subsection (j), which requires employers to institute a medical surveillance program for employees exposed to lead at or above the action level. This subsection was violated 481 times over the period. Table 6-3 presents the data.

Table 6-3: Subsections Most Often Violated by Painting Firms 1993- 2003

standard Subsection Number Of Violations
(d) Exposure Assessment 1,580
(i) Hygiene Facilities And Practices 518
(j) Medical Surveillance 481
(f) Respiratory Protection 418
(e) Methods Of Compliance 398


6.2.3  Violations by Size of Firm

As described in Chapter 3, the painting and paper hanging industry is comprised mostly of small firms; 95 percent of the firms employ ten or fewer employees. During the period October 2002 to September 2003, firms of this size accounted for 68 percent of the 229 violations of the standard, as shown in Table 6-4. This distribution could reflect OSHA's inspection strategy as much as it reflects the rates of compliance by firms of different sizes.

Table 6-4: Violations by Size of Painting Firms FY 2003

Employee Size Number of Violations (Percent of Total) Number of Inspections Average Number of Violations Per Inspection Percentage of Firms
1-9 157
(68)
26 6.0 95
10-19 34
(15)
5 6.8 3
20-99 0 0 -- 2
100 or more 38
(17)
2 19 *
All sizes 229 33 6.9 100
* less than one percent; Source for last column: Dun and Bradstreet.

6.2.4 Violations by Type of Work

SIC 1721 includes painting firms that paint bridges and commercial and industrial facilities, as well as residential painters. OSHA's inspection records provide some insight into the type of work that was being done when the agency found violations of the lead in construction standard. The inspection records show that a significant share of the violations by painting and paper hanging firms occurred during work on bridges, highways, industrial facilities, and other non-residential structures. Data from 1994, the first full year of inspections, and data from 2001 and 2002, the two most recent years for which full data are available, are shown in the Table 6-5.

Table 6-5: Inspections with Violations by Type of Paint Work

Work Site 1994 2001 2002
Bridge 37 10 8
Road or Bridge Project[166] 21 11 7
Commercial, Industrial, Or Government Building 11 9 5
Other 27 40 31
Total 96 70 51

The inspection records include the location of the work site that was inspected. For the most part, the address listed gives a good indication of the type of workplace (e.g., Platt Bridge or Hiland Presbyterian Church). In some cases, only a street address is listed (e.g., 1415 West 6th Street), which does not indicate whether the location is commercial, industrial, or residential. The latter cases were classified as "Other" and serve as an upper bound on the number of federal inspections that took place at residences.

For all three years, a significant number of the federal inspections that found violations of the standard involved painting firms that were working on highway projects or on non-residential structures. In 1994, 96 of OSHA's inspections of painting and paper hanging firms found violations of the lead in construction standard. Of those inspections, 58 (60 percent) involved firms working on bridge or highway projects. Another 11 inspections (11 percent) involved firms working on non-residential structures such as churches, factories, or water tanks. The remaining 27 inspections (28 percent) could all have been done at residential facilities, but likely took place at a mix of commercial, industrial, and residential locations.

For the years 2001 and 2002, a smaller but still sizable share of the inspections involved road or bridge projects. For those two years, 36 (30 percent) of the 121 inspections that found violations of the standard involved a road or bridge project; 14 inspections (12 percent) involved non-residential structures such as water towers, parking garages, or power plants. The remaining 71 inspections (59 percent) could have taken place solely at residential locations, but likely include industrial or commercial sites.

6.3 Other Compliance data

As discussed in Chapter 5, studies conducted to measure exposure levels and BLLs have found that compliance with the standard is limited. The 1999 study of 459 construction employees in Iowa and Illinois found workplace practices that confirmed widespread violation of the lead in construction standard. For example, the study found that only 33 percent of employees on projects with potential for lead exposure had received training or written information concerning lead hazards or regulations. The study also found that 81 percent of employees with potential for lead exposure reported that their employers did not provide work clothing, changing facilities, or washing facilities. Sixty-one percent of the employees said that their employers did not provide separate eating facilities.[167]

The EPA study found that almost 60 percent of the 585 renovation and remodeling employees studied in Phase II did not use any dust protection; only 10 percent used respirators. Respirator use ranged from less than two percent for drywall employees to 23 percent for laborers. Only 13 percent reported receiving lead training. Overall, only five percent reported using HEPA vacuums for clean-up.[168] Phase IV of the EPA study also found that compliance was very limited.

Interviews with State blood lead registries indicate that compliance with the medical surveillance requirements may be restricted to larger firms, particularly those required to provide testing as a condition of a license, certification, or government contract.



Chapter 7. COST IMPACTS OF THE STANDARD

7.1 Introduction

Reviews conducted under section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act focus on standards that impose a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The scope of the E.O. does not focus on small entities.

This chapter reviews the cost of compliance with § 1926.62. Section 7.2 discusses the costs for the various elements of the standard. Sections 7.3 through 7.5 discuss potential costs for bridge repair/painting, renovation and remodeling projects, and lead abatement. Section 7.6 reviews estimates of the average charges for these types of projects and the percentage of the total project cost that compliance represents. Section 7.7 discusses small entity costs and the potential impact of compliance.

As will be discussed in greater detail below, developing cost estimates and impacts for the standard is complicated. The standard applies only when exposure to lead is possible. Some elements of the standards apply only when exposures exceed the action level; some when exposures exceed the PEL, and some when blood lead levels exceed 40 and 50 mg/dL. Determining how frequently these occur is not possible based on current data. Equipment costs are capital costs and are depreciated over the useful life of the equipment. It may be analytically preferable for these annualized costs to be allocated to jobs where the equipment is needed, not to jobs where LBP is not present.

7.2 Unit Costs

Unit costs can be divided in several ways - initial assessment costs, employee protection costs, and medical surveillance costs; labor, operations and maintenance (O&M), and capital costs; or per potential lead exposure job versus per lead exposure job. For the purposes of the analysis, the costs are first divided by standard's requirements, then categorized into labor, O&M, and capital and the type of lead job to which they apply.

7.2.1 Wage Rates

To estimate labor costs, wage rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) were used. For supervisors, wage data for first-line supervisors or health and safety officers from the 2002 Occupational Employment Statistics were used and inflated to January 2004 using the BLS employment cost index for the construction industry. For lead abatement firms, data for general contractors were used as a surrogate. For other employees, current hourly earnings for production employees in painting, bridge, tunnel, and highway construction, and remediation services were used, based on January 2004 data on average hourly earnings from the national Current Employment Statistics survey. Because painting firms are almost all very small with very high turnover, the analysis assumes that the only fringe benefits paid are those that are legally required. Bridge and lead abatement firms are generally larger; the analysis assumes that fringe benefits for those employees would include paid leave, supplemental pay, and health insurance, but not retirement savings. The value of fringe benefits was based on the BLS publication, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation-December 2003, for the construction sector.[169] The wage rates used are shown in Table 7-1.

Table 7-1: Wage Rates

Labor Category Wage Plus Fringe
Painters $18.92
Painting - Supervisor $28.37
Bridge Employee $26.57
Bridge Supervisor $31.79
Lead Abatement $30.53
Lead Abatement Supervisor $33.33

7.2.2 Initial Assessment Costs - Bridges and Industrial Jobs

The standard requires an employer to determine whether employees may be exposed to lead above the action level (without a respirator). OSHA has issued guidance stating that testing of paint samples, as may be done to comply with EPA or HUD rules, is not sufficient to meet OSHA's requirements. OSHA requires air monitoring of actual exposure levels, data from previous monitoring under conditions closely resembling the workplace conditions, or objective data that exposure cannot occur. It has been the Agency's position that the standard requires samples for each job classification and samples representative of a full shift exposure.

Practically, an employer must have at least one employee, presumably a supervisor, who will oversee the monitoring. Because the Agency's position has been that the standard requires that the samples be representative of a full shift, the analysis assumes, as did OSHA's original economic analysis, that a supervisor will spend 8 hours conducting air monitoring at each job where there is a potential for lead exposures. Monitoring is estimated to cost from $227 for painting, to $254 for bridges, to $267 for lead abatement (8 hours of a first-line supervisor's time). In addition, the supervisor monitoring is estimated to spend about 6 minutes on recordkeeping for initial monitoring or about $3. To the extent that monitoring must be conducted after the initial assessment, the costs would be the same for each day of monitoring.

For residential painting, the estimated cost is misleadingly high. The supervisor will be painting or on the largest jobs supervising other painters. It is unlikely that more than one employee will be monitored. So, the actual labor costs for monitoring will be the 15 minutes of time to affix the sampler and the 15 minutes to remove it twice during the day, or about $30.00.

To conduct monitoring, an employer needs air samplers, which use 37 mm filters to collect samples. The employees wear the samplers while working. The filters are then tested to determine the level of lead to which the employee is being exposed. The analysis assumes that any firm that regularly needs to conduct air monitoring will purchase an analyzer. An analyzer allows an employer to conduct the tests at the job site rather than shipping samples and waiting for lab results. Given the short-term nature of most residential jobs, immediate analysis is the only way to ensure that results are available before the job is complete. For the purpose of the analysis, it is assumed that the firm will purchase a Palintest 5000, an analyzer that allows the employer to conduct the tests at the job site and that EPA has evaluated as being sufficiently reliable.[170]  The analyzer requires electrodes to extract the lead. Table 7-2 presents the unit costs, annualized costs, and sources for the capital and O&M costs. Equipment costs are annualized over 5 years using a seven percent discount rate.

Table 7-2: Capital and O&M Costs for Initial Assessments
Equipment Total Cost Annualized Cost Source/Comments
Analyzer $2,950 $719 Palintest SA 5000 (price from Palintest USA web site)
Electrodes $6.40   Palintest SA 5000 (price from Palintest USA web site) ($64 per pack of 10)
Air sampler $475 $116 Staplex Air Sampler PST 2X
37 mm air filter $2.42   Staplex ($121 for pack of 50)

For industrial construction, air sampling costs are based on a model for costing bridge projects developed for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).[171] The model assumes a per day cost for sampling and lab testing. In addition to monitoring, the model includes, as part of its OSHA lead compliance, a pre-assessment and post assessment of the site for a flat charge of $500.[172] This charge may vary depending on the size of the bridge. Table 7-3 summarizes the costs used in the FHWA model. It should be noted that some of these costs do not reflect the standard's provisions. Daily monitoring would be needed only if the employer had reason to believe that work practices were changing daily in ways that would increase exposure. The standard does not require a post site assessment, although contracts may.

Table 7-3: FHWA Lead Health and Safety Costs for Bridges

Cost Item Cost Unit
Pre-Assessment $500 Per project
Monitoring Supervision $227 Per day (OSHA requires only when exposures may change)
High Volume Air Monitoring $50
Lab Testing of Samples $100
Post Site Assessment $500 Per project (not an OSHA requirement)

7.2.3 Employee Protection Costs

The standard requires that employers take steps to protect employees exposed above the action level. These steps could be administrative (e.g., job rotation), but given the limited numbers of employees on a single job, the steps are more likely to involve personal protection equipment.

Compliance Plan. The standard requires a compliance plan per job site when the standard is triggered. OSHA's original economic analysis estimated the cost of the plan as one hour of a supervisor's time. This analysis assumes that for residential work, the original estimate remains appropriate because employers are expected to develop "model" compliance plans that can have site-specific information added. Certain elements of the compliance plan will not apply to most short-term residential jobs (e.g., the 6-month revision). Because building lead abatement projects may include more site-specific elements, the analysis assumes that an employer would spend two hours tailoring a plan.

For large industrial construction projects, the analysis identified a number of actual estimates for the cost of lead health and safety plans. The FHWA cost model uses $500 as the price of the compliance plan. Actual bids for work on eight bridges in New Jersey listed the lead health and safety plan for $1,500 to $150,000.[173] Because it is unclear whether these costs are limited to the plan itself or cover monitoring, the analysis uses the FHWA estimate for the cost of a compliance plan for a bridge project.

Respirators. Employers are required to provide employees with respirators if exposures will exceed the PEL. Table 7-4 presents current respirator costs. Residential painters would use half-face respirators.

Table 7-4: Respirator Costs by Type

Equipment Unit Cost/Annual Cost
Half-face $9.95
Half-face supplied air (pump, line, respirator) $509/$124
Full-face $94.95
Full-face supplied air (pump, line, respirator) $625/$152
HEPA filter $2.25
Supplied air blast helmets $517/$126
Air pump (3 hoods) $1,363/$332
Air supply line (100 ft) $95/$23

Tools. Residential employees are assumed to use HEPA vacuums to clean-up lead dust. An industrial wet/dry HEPA vacuum with a 15 gallon capacity costs $2,520 ($615 annualized cost). The replacement HEPA filter costs $470. A dry HEPA vacuum would cost about $1,100 less ($280 less annually). The analysis uses the higher cost for lead abatement work and the lower cost for painting; in 1999, testimony at EPA hearings indicated that painting contractors rarely find wet sanding acceptable.[174] The costs of HEPA vacuums and filters have been dropping and are likely to be less now.

Lead abatement contractors are assumed to use shrouded tools. Specifically, the analysis assumes that these contractors would use a Pentek VAC-PAC, a self-drumming HEPA vacuum unit capable of running six to ten shrouded power tools over 200 feet away. Although the cost of the tools and vacuum system is high, their use eliminates the need for respirators and enclosures because the lead dust is captured before employees can be exposed. One contractor who used the tools estimated that the costs of enclosures and other compliance would be two to three times higher than the cost of the shrouded tool system.[175] Table 7-5 presents the annualized costs of the VAC-PAC, airlines, filters, and shrouded tools used in removal of LBP. The costs do not include replacement parts for the scaler and needlegun; these parts would be needed for any scaler or needlegun used, not just for shrouded tools. None of this equipment would be necessary for residential painting.

Table 7-5: Shrouded Tool Costs

Equipment Unit Cost Annualized Cost
VAC-PAC $29,000-$52,000 $7,072-$12,682
Airline $382 $93
HEPA filter $579 $579
Roughing filter $540 $540
Rotopeen scaler $4,170 $1,017
Airline $417 $102
Needle gun $8,985 $2,191
Airline $417 $102

Industrial construction jobs are assumed to be done in enclosures. Because the requirement for enclosures is based on environmental rather than OSHA rules, the costs associated with the enclosure do not accrue to the OSHA standard. If the cost of the dust collection system is considered a cost to the OSHA standard, the FHWA model provides an estimate of $2,338 per month ($75,000 system, depreciated at 7 percent over 5 years).

Work Clothes. Employers are required to provide employees with protective clothing (coveralls, hats, gloves, shoe covers) that are either disposable or cleaned regularly. Disposable items would cost about $8 per employee per day when needed.

Hygiene Facilities. The standard requires employers to provide change areas with separate storage facilities for work and street clothes, hand washing facilities, separate eating areas, and showers (if feasible). In practice, this element of the standard requires a construction trailer, specifically a decontamination trailer. The current rental cost of such a trailer is $200 per day.[176] In addition, many jurisdictions require permits or fees for the parking of a trailer. The analysis identified fees that ranged from $40 to $500 and used the lower number because not all jurisdictions may impose these fees. The FHWA model for bridge painting assumes the purchase of a trailer, depreciated over 5 years, for a monthly cost of $748.

Training. The standard requires that employees receive training on lead hazards, the standard, the use of respirators, and work practices. The training is estimated to take 4 hours of an employee's time at the applicable wage rate.

7.2.4 Medical Surveillance Costs

The standard requires employers to make available medical testing to any employee exposed above the action level and to establish a medical surveillance program for any employee exposed above the action level for more than 30 days in 12 consecutive months. The medical testing includes a physical exam and blood testing. The cost of blood lead tests varies considerably: one N.Y. hospital charges $8, Massachusetts charges $20;[177] U.S. EPA reports a range of $10 to $75.[178] Michigan charges $11. Because employees are assumed to use private physicians, the analysis uses $50 for a test charge. The University of Kentucky Health Literacy Project lists a physical exam for a new patient at between $119 and $179.[179] The analysis uses $150 as a mid range estimate.  Follow-up visits for additional testing are estimated to cost $60 exclusive of the testing ($47 to $71 range). In addition, employees who require testing are assumed to lose 2.5 hours of work time, costed at 2.5 times the hourly wage. The employer is required to maintain records of testing results; this is estimated to require the same time as records on monitoring (1/10th hour of a supervisor's time).

If an employee is found to have a BLL above 50 mg/dL, the employee must be removed from the job or part of the job where the employee is exposed to lead until two tests indicate that the BLL is no higher than 40 mg/dL. The employer must pay the employee during the removal period. The cost for removal will depend on the length of time the employee is not working. Appendix A provides a summary table of all costs. Very few residential painters will have BLLs over 50 mg/dL and be covered by medical removal.

7.3 Industrial/Bridge Painting

The following estimates are derived from the FHWA Cost Model for Steel Bridge Maintenance System;[180] as noted above, this model includes costs for daily air monitoring, which may not be needed under the standard, and for a post-project site assessment ($500), which is not an OSHA requirement. The model was adjusted to reflect current wage rates; the costs attributed to compliance with the standard were also adjusted to include the cost of the decontamination trailer, respirators, employee clothing, recordkeeping, and blood lead testing. The other costs attributed to lead health and safety in the model cover the compliance plan, initial and final site assessments, and air monitoring. The compliance plan and pre and post inspections are estimated to cost $500 each regardless of the project; this may be an underestimate. The model estimates that a 25,000 square foot bridge would take 3 months; a 500,000 square foot bridge would take 14 months. A 15,000 square-foot bridge would typically be a two-lane highway overpass. Table 7-6 shows the range of cost estimates for compliance on various sizes of bridges; the costs are based on the following assumptions:
  • Use of lift trucks for bridges of 50,000 square feet and less and a Safe-Span Platform for the larger bridges.
  • A full removal of paint with recyclable steel grit.
  • Use of arc spray metallizing with an airless applied seal coat.
The OSHA compliance costs are not significantly affected by the type of platform used, but are affected by methods of removal and painting that affect the time required to complete a project. For example, OSHA compliance costs for a 15,000 square-foot bridge painted by conventional spray with a three coat system would be slightly lower than shown, but would represent a higher percentage of the total cost because of the lower overall cost of the project. Total project costs include profits of about 13 percent.

Table 7-6: Estimated Compliance Cost for Bridge Painting/Repair

Paintable Sq Ft # Crew Cost Lead Health and Safety % of Total Project
15,000 7 $14,000 8.73%
25,000 7 $16,100 8.32%
50,000 7 $23,500 7.66%
100,000 10 $32,100 5.25%
250,000 10 $64,000 4.86%
500,000 10 $118,000 4.73%
1,000,000 10 $223,900 4.66%

Tables 7-7 and 7-8 present the breakdown of the total costs for a 15,000 square-foot bridge and a 250,000 square-foot bridge, using the assumptions described above. The FHWA model estimates that the smaller bridge would take 22 project days and 2 project months; the large bridge would take 121 project days and 8 project months.

Table 7-7: Project Cost Analysis for a 15,000 Square Foot Bridge

  Cost % of Total Cost/Sq Foot
Labor Cost $45,422 32.07% $3.03
Waste Disposal $2,317 1.64% $0.15
Materials $22,835 16.12% $1.52
Production Equipment $25,638 18.10% $1.71
Lead Health and Safety $13,997 8.73% $0.93
Project Insurance $6,971 4.92% $0.46
Profit $18,474 13.04% $1.23
Staging and Containment $7,606 5.37% $0.51
Total Cost $143,259 100% $9.55

Table 7-8: Project Cost Analysis for a 250,000 Square Foot Bridge
  Cost % of Total Cost/Sq Foot
Labor Cost $356,887 30.23% $1.43
Waste Disposal $38,329 3.25% $0.15
Materials $293,134 24.83% $1.17
Production Equipment $121,940 10.33% $0.49
Lead Health and Safety $63,956 4.86% $0.26
Project Insurance $58,112 4.92% $0.23
Profit $153,998 13.04% $0.62
Staging and Containment $100,876 8.54% $0.40
Total Cost $1,187,230 100% $4.75

Robert Kogler of FHWA and Dan Adley of KTA-Tator stated that the overall cost of bridge repainting has increased by a factor of five or more in the past 15 years. Compliance with the lead standard represents a small part of this increase. Part of the increase is the result of inflation and a large part is from containment and waste handling required to meet environmental standards. Investment in newly developed equipment also has contributed to the increase.[181] As can be seen from the tables, the FHWA model assumes a profit margin, which is unaffected by OSHA compliance costs.

7.4 Renovation and Remodeling Costs

Estimating compliance costs for painting firms doing renovation and remodeling or maintenance work on residential units is difficult because although monitoring labor costs can be assigned on a per job basis, monitoring equipment costs should be distributed over all jobs where it is necessary to test for lead dust. Respirator and tool costs should be distributed over jobs where LBP is present. As discussed in previous chapters, the prevalence of houses with the potential for LBP varies widely across regions. In addition, the number of jobs that a firm may complete during a year is unknown. Sixty percent of the painting firms have sales of between $20,000 and $50,000. If their average job required painting an "average" house (about 1,600 square feet of floor space), the cost for painting would range from $3,000 to $7,000 depending on the quality of the paint used.[182] It is more likely that their jobs vary considerably, both in terms of space painted and the quality of paint used. Furthermore, for a few jobs, there may be a small amount of additional cost for removing old lead plumbing.

To estimate the range of potential costs per job and per firm, the analysis developed costs under different two scenarios for five metropolitan areas (Boston, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Dallas, and Phoenix), plus costs for a firm that does only pre-1941 houses. The five metropolitan areas were selected because they represent a range of distribution of housing unit ages, from Boston where 43 percent of the housing is pre-1940 and only 14 percent is post 1979 to Phoenix where only 2 percent is pre-1941 and 57 percent is post 1979. The analysis estimates costs for 50 jobs annually, either all interior or all exterior. Interior jobs are assumed to take 5 days, exterior jobs 3 days. High lead exposures are assumed to occur on 2 of the 5 days for interior jobs and on 1 of the 3 days for exterior jobs (during surface preparation).  The number of LBP jobs is derived by multiplying the number of jobs for houses of a time period by the interior or exterior (as applicable) component with the highest percentage of LBP. For example, in Boston, 43 percent of the occupied housing units were built prior to 1941. Of 50 painting jobs, 22 were therefore assumed to be on pre-1941 houses. In that period, 41 percent of exterior windows were painted with LBP, so the number of exterior jobs involving LBP for that period is estimated as 9 (0.41 x 22). For the scenario of all pre-1941 houses, the analysis also uses the 41 percent figure to estimate the number of houses with LBP. This assumption is conservative because repainting or replacing windows is unlikely to result in high lead exposures due to the short time such work takes.

The analysis assumes that except for housing units built after 1978, employers will have to conduct monitoring. The scenarios assume that an employer conducts monitoring only on days when there are high lead exposures (generally one day). This somewhat overstates what the standard requires. The employer could make an assessment that no LBP is present; when LBP is present, the standard just requires initial, quarterly, or semi-annual monitoring, which would be unlikely in residential remodeling. The analysis assumes a work crew of four, with 50 percent turnover during the year, which results in training costs for six employees over a year. The analysis also assumes where LBP is present, all employees will be tested once. Except for the scenario where all jobs are on pre-1941 housing, the analysis assumes that follow-up testing will not be needed.   The analysis assumes that employees will be provided with protective clothing for each day on jobs where LBP is present; it assumes that a decontamination trailer will be rented only for days when high lead exposures are likely. The use of a trailer is the only way to meet the standard's requirements for separate change areas, wash areas, and separate eating areas at a residential job, but including these costs (rental plus permit) overstates actual costs incurred because it is unlikely that trailers could be used at many residential sites.

Table 7-9 presents the estimated cost per job for initial monitoring, for jobs where exposures are between the action level and PEL, and jobs where exposures are above the PEL. The average cost per job is lower in areas where there are more LBP jobs because annual equipment costs are distributed across more jobs. Initial monitoring is estimated to add between $320 and $430 to the cost of a residential painting job.[183] Compliance with all elements of the standard is estimated to add between $530 and $1,800 to a residential repainting job where LBP is present.

Table 7-9: Estimated Costs of Residential Painting Projects

Interior Exterior All pre 1941
Boston Milwaukee Kansas City Dallas Phoenix Boston Milwaukee Kansas City Dallas Phoenix
Number of pre 1978 jobs 43 40 32 24 21 43 40 32 24 21 50
Number of LBP Jobs 6 4 2 0 0 14 12 9 5 4 20
Initial Assessment Costs/Job $358 $348 $345 $339 $346 $317 $319 $327 $339 $346 $432
LBP Costs/Job exposures >AL < PEL $683 $837 $1,322     $457 $482 $544 $730 $835 $547
Total LBP Jobs above PEL $1,363 $1,558 $2,169     $826 $857 $933 $1,164 $1,294 $1,178

So for Boston, 43 out of 50 jobs per year would have to be monitored and six would have LBP above the action level. If data were available indicating that lead was not present, then the monitoring costs for repainting would be much less. Also, those costs assume that monitoring would take a supervisor full-time when it is likely to take only an hour or two; (see above.) These estimates do not include the cost of medical removal, which would be required if an employee's BLL exceeded 50 µg/dL. If an employer had to remove an employee rather than reassign the employee to jobs where LBP is not present, the cost would be about $3,200 per month. There should be very few employees with BLLs above 50 µg/dL.

7.5 Lead Abatement Costs

The costs for lead abatement firms are estimated using two scenarios, one in which the firm uses the Pentek VacPac shrouded tool system and one in which the firm uses standard tools and half-face supplied air respirators; both scenarios assume use of HEPA wet-dry vacuums. Both scenarios assume that the firm does 30 residential lead abatement jobs per year and uses a work crew of four employees at each job. The project supervisor is assumed to conduct a pre-assessment of six rooms at $40 per room.[184] In both scenarios, the employer is assumed to conduct initial air monitoring. Further monitoring is assumed to be unnecessary with shrouded tools. Monitoring is assumed for each day where there could be high lead exposures for the other scenario (assumed to be 3 days per job). Because the shrouded tools collect dust before the employees can be exposed, the decontamination trailer is assumed to be unnecessary under that scenario as are the blood tests. For the alternative scenario, the firm is assumed to have purchased a trailer at the same annual depreciated cost estimated in the FHWA model ($6,732 per year). The firm is also assumed to test employees quarterly. Table 7-10 presents the estimated costs for the two scenarios if the jobs could be finished in the same time. Shrouded tools may increase the time required to complete work; for each extra day of labor required, the cost of the shrouded tool scenario would rise by about $975.

Table 7-10: Estimated Lead Abatement Cost/Job for 30 Jobs/Year

Cost/Job Shrouded Tool Scenario standard Tools Scenario
Work Site Monitoring $609 $1,220
Equipment $540 $62
Other Compliance (compliance plan, training, trailer, clothing) $251 $515
Medical Surveillance   $112
Total Cost per Job $1,400 $1,910

Table 7-11 presents the variation in costs/job as the number of residential jobs per year changes. Employers are assumed to rent a trailer until it becomes cost-effective to purchase one (after about 10 jobs a year). As with the painting costs, the average costs go down as the number of jobs rises because equipment costs are averaged over more jobs.  If the cost of the decontamination trailer was removed from the standard tools scenario, a firm would need to conduct more than 15 residential lead abatements a year to justify the higher costs of the shrouded tools. If using shrouded tools increases the time required for a job by more than half a day, the tools are unlikely to be cost-effective for this type of work.

Table 7-11: Estimated Lead Abatement Costs Per Job by Number of Jobs/Year

Number of Jobs Shrouded Tool Scenario standard Tools Scenario
5 $4,420 $3,430
10 $2,610 $2,740
15 $2,000 $2,360
30 $1,400 $1,910
50 $1,160 $1,730

The scenarios analyzed above are for residential units and relatively short-term jobs. Some lead abatement jobs, however, are for larger structures (e.g., public buildings). The cost of compliance for these jobs will be substantially higher because the employer will have to conduct more monitoring.

7.6 Small Entity Impacts

As discussed in Chapter 3, the employers in the construction sector are largely small entities. Table 7-12 presents Dun and Bradstreet data for the construction sections most likely to be affected by § 1926.62, by the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) and by sales.[185] The median number of employees and sales for the sectors is shown in Table 7-13.

Table 7-12:  Employment and Sales Distributions for Selected Construction Sectors
(Dun and Bradstreet Data)
  General Single family General Multifamily Renovation and Remodeling Highway Bridge Painting Remediation
FTE            
<5 275,613 1,104 88,210 15,994 82,726 1,207
5-10 26,603 444 8,811 4,611 7,747 657
11-20 7,074 156 2,449 2,277 2,714 395
21-50 3,144 123 1,020 1,889 1,475 343
51-100 705 39 151 741 299 96
>100 348 40 60 589 89 69
Total 313,487 1,906 100,701 26,101 95,050 2,767
Sales (000)            
<$20 256 7 270 21 374 5
$20-$50 2,825 17 2,210 250 55,798 212
$51-$100 103,528 48 33,982 3,300 18,246 561
$101-$250 116,507 449 35,810 9,066 8,880 630
$251-$1m 66,243 772 21,785 7,893 7,191 889
>$1m 21,331 656 4,700 8,151 2,375 896
Total 310,690 1,949 98,757 28,681 92,864 3,193


Table 7-13: Size and Annual Sales of the Median Firm by Sector
  Painting General Single Family Multi-Family R&R Bridge Remediation
FTE <5 <5 <5 <5 <5 5-10
Sales (000) $20-$50 $101-$250 $251-$1m $101-$250 $251-$1m $251-$1m

Although the data in Tables 7-12 and 7-13 show that the firms subject to the standard are very small, they do not indicate the burden imposed by the standard because that burden occurs on a per job basis. It is more useful, therefore, to evaluate the potential burden on firms based on the added cost per job.

7.6.1 Impact on Bridge Painters

The FHWA cost model for bridge repainting and repair indicates that compliance with the lead standard represents between 5 percent and 10 percent of the total cost of a project, with the percentage falling as the size of the project increases. Compliance with environmental regulations imposes higher costs. Although the cost of compliance is a significant percentage of the total project cost, bridge painting work is almost exclusively government-funded. In many states and on most federal projects, compliance with QP 2 is a contract condition. Most, if not all, government contracts require contractors to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Consequently, bridge painting firms should be able to include the cost of compliance in their bids without being at a competitive disadvantage. An examination of bid tabulations for bridge work in a number of states indicates that some states include lead health and safety as a separate item on bids; in other states, OSHA compliance costs are not disaggregated. Because the costs are generally fully recovered without affecting profits, compliance does not impose a burden on small firms.

7.6.2 Residential Painters

Compliance with the standard is estimated to add between $300 and $400 to any work on a pre-1978 housing unit to cover the cost of initial monitoring. If lead dust is present above the action level, but below the PEL, compliance is estimated to cost an additional $100 to $900 per job. If exposures are above the PEL, compliance cost per jobs would increase from $500 to $1,800. Costs will vary with the number of LBP jobs done and the length of the job. Costs would be lower for small jobs and higher for those that require more surface preparation.

The cost of a painting job is usually estimated based on the number of coats of paint used, the quality of the paint, and the square footage of floor space.[186] National Construction Estimator provides estimates of about $1.90/square foot for one or two coats of less expensive paint, $4.3 5/square foot for two to three costs of high quality paint; this cost covers paint, equipment, and labor. Table 7-14 presents the cost of painting jobs for various sizes of housing units.

Table 7-14: Costs of Painting Jobs by Unit Size

Square Feet Low Cost High Cost
1,000 $1,900 $4,350
2,000 $3,800 $8,700
3,000 $5,700 $13,050

Table 7-15 shows the percentage increase in the cost if the job requires only initial assessment and if the job involves lead exposures above the PEL; jobs with exposures between the action level and PEL would fall in between. The estimates assume initial assessment costs of $325, total compliance costs, including assessment, for interior jobs of $825 for 1,000 sq. ft. jobs, $1,100 for 2,000 sq. ft. jobs, and $1,400 for 3,000 sq. ft. jobs. It assumes total compliance costs for exterior jobs of $680 for 1,000 sq. ft. jobs, $780 for 2,000 sq. ft. jobs, and $880 for 3,000 sq. ft. jobs.

Table 7-15: Percentage Increase in Average Job Cost for Compliance

Square Feet % Increase in Job Cost for Initial Assessment % Increase in Job Cost for Compliance - Interior Jobs w/ Lead Over PEL % Increase in Job Cost for Compliance - Exterior Jobs w/ Lead Over PEL
  Low Cost High Cost Low Cost High Cost Low Cost High Cost
1000 17% 7% 43% 19% 36% 16%
2000 9% 4% 29% 13% 21% 9%
3000 6% 2% 25% 11% 15% 7%

As can be seen from the Table 7-15, compliance with the standard significantly increases the cost of a painting job, even for the larger jobs. (The American Housing Survey data indicate that the median house size for pre-1978 houses ranges from 1,200 square feet for houses built in the 1930s to 1,500 square feet for houses built before 1920. Mean house size ranges from about 1,500 to 1,900 square feet.)

The compliance costs of the Lead in Construction standard on residential painters are sometimes meaningful. Obviously, there are no costs or impacts on post 1978 residences because no lead based paint was used.

Relatively few residences used lead based paint after 1960 and only a modest amount was used on interiors after 1941. For most of these residences, the painting contractor would have a monitoring cost of about $329 to determine if lead was present and if exposures were below the action level. This cost is probably overstated because it assumes one day of supervisory time for monitoring when, in reality, just a few hours of supervisory time would probably be needed. This cost is from 2% to 9% of most jobs (except for the smallest, most cheaply done jobs.)

Also, if the monitoring was done right and a written record was kept by the residence owner, a subsequent painting contractor could probably rely on it for the initial assessment, thus making remonitoring unnecessary. It would be in the best interest of a landlord or homeowner to keep such records to save future costs. Though this impact is not insignificant, it can probably be handled by a painting contractor, though a self- employed painter would not be bound by the OSHA standard.

For those few 1941-1978 residential units that have lead exposures over the PEL, and for the higher percentage of pre 1941 units that do, the costs of the standard are meaningful. These compliance costs can be 40% of the cost of smaller, low quality jobs and, more typically, 7-29% of the cost. So, a painting contractor could be undercut either by a homeowner who chooses to do the painting himself or by a self-employed painter who is not under OSHA's jurisdiction and could legally expose himself and his family to high lead exposures.

There are a number of factors mitigating these impacts. A properly done preparation and painting is likely to reduce lead exposures for homeowners and tenants. It seems likely that homeowners would try to minimize their exposure to lead to protect themselves and their families. Landlords would want to reduce their liability to lead exposed tenants. Reducing lead through proper painting may add to the value of property. Therefore, a homeowner or landlord may prefer to hire a painter who follows the OSHA standard, even though the cost is more.

In addition, proper preparation and painting are likely to reduce lead exposures below the action level for subsequent repaintings. So, the higher cost will be a one time expenditure and not impact small painting contractors nearly as much on subsequent repaintings.

In addition, on January 10, 2006, EPA proposed new and more protective lead regulations covering all pre 1978 rental housing and owner occupied housing where a child under 6 years of age resides (71 FR 1588). These regulations cover all persons who do renovation for compensation, including painters. These regulations, though designed to protect residents and tenants, will reduce any cost advantages of self-employed painters.

As discussed above, owners of commercial and industrial properties are much less likely to hire self-employed painters who do not follow the OSHA Lead in Construction standard; to do so would create liability to their employees and tenants. Furthermore, larger painting contractors are more likely to be hired because jobs involving commercial and industrial properties are usually big jobs.

The impact of the standard on R&R firms is likely to be less severe than on painting firms. As the Dun and Bradstreet data indicate, these firms have somewhat higher revenues than painting firms. It is possible that R&R jobs that are likely to disturb LBP are more costly than painting jobs and, therefore, compliance costs may represent lower percentages of total costs.[187] These jobs may also be less likely to be performed by homeowners. Small R&R firms, however, may have low profit margins.

7.6.3  Impact on Lead Abatement Contractors

Compliance with the standard is estimated to cost from $1,000 to $4,000 per residential lead abatement job; a midrange cost of $2,000 to $2,500 is probably a reasonable estimate because firms in this sector are unlikely to do lead abatement exclusively. A 1999 Connecticut study of actual lead abatement costs at 322 units found that lead costs ranged from $11,000 to $28,800 per unit; the average cost for lead abatement was $14,430.[188]  OSHA compliance costs represent between 7 percent and 23 percent of those project costs. The cost of compliance on lead abatement of larger buildings is more difficult to estimate.

As discussed in previous chapters, lead abatement, as defined by EPA and HUD, appears to occur mostly on publicly funded projects. The cost of compliance, therefore, should be recoverable because every contractor bidding on lead abatement projects would be required to comply with the OSHA standard. Private owners doing lead abatement will want to hire contractors who do the work right and follow OSHA requirements.

7.7 Conclusion

Section 1926.62 imposes significant costs on any construction project that triggers compliance with the standard. Because bridge and lead abatement projects are almost always publicly funded, these costs should be recoverable and should not impose a burden on firms or create a disproportionate impact on small entities.

For residential painting, there is no economic impact on the painting of units built after 1978, and generally, there are modest impacts on units built from 1941 - 1978, where lead is unlikely to be present, or lead exposures are under the action level and costs are limited to monitoring. For older units where lead exposures are above the action level, costs are meaningful. However, there are some mitigating factors to these costs, as described above. The burden may be less on R&R firms, although the smallest firms may find the cost of compliance a burden. In some circumstances, there may be an advantage to having the work done by a qualified contractor who follows the rules where there are requirements to remove lead or where proof of removal increases the value of the property. Since residential painting continues at a high level, it is likely that most painting contractors do not fullycomply.



Chapter 8. SECTION 610 AND EO 12866 REVIEWS

[NOTE: At the end of Section 8.1.2, there is a list giving the full names for the acronyms used in this chapter. See Appendix C for the Exhibit numbers for each commenter.]

Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act mandates that agencies review rules that have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and, in reviewing these rules, consider the following factors:
  • The continued need for the rule;
  • The nature of complaints or comments received concerning the rule from the public;
  • The complexity of the rule;
  • The extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other Federal rules, and, to the extent feasible, with State and local governmental rules; and
  • The length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule.
To improve the effectiveness of existing regulations, Executive Order (EO) 12866 requires agencies to review their regulations to determine the following:
  • If the rule has become unjustified or unnecessary as a result of changed circumstances;
  • If the regulations are both compatible with each other and not duplicative or inappropriately burdensome in the aggregate;
  • That all regulations are consistent with the President's priorities and the principles set forth in the E.O. within applicable law.
This chapter addresses the requirements of Section 610 and the EO for the OSHA Lead in Construction standard.

8.1 Section 610 Review

Section 610 reviews are conducted on standards that have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Lead in Construction standard affects a substantial number of small entities, most of which are very small firms (five or fewer employees). Compliance with the rule, where the action level is exceeded, imposes a substantial cost on these very small firms.

8.1.1 Continued Need for the Rule

There is a continuing need for the Lead in Construction standard. The risks posed by exposure to lead are well documented. The 2005 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead adds to the wealth of information by confirming the known health effects of lead and documenting new research, such as on the effects of lead when in combination with other metals and other toxic substances. Other research, such as the NIOSH studies of exposure pathways that can be as significant as inhalation thereby furthering employee exposures, indicate that we are continuing to uncover evidence that employees need protection from exposure to lead. Similarly, the comments identified a number of studies of exposure of employees in a variety of workplaces demonstrating the continuing need for the protection that the Lead in Construction standard provides. As to the effectiveness of the current requirements, NIOSH and other commenters presented data and opinion that employee exposures and blood lead levels were reduced if employers comply with the provisions of the standard.

Several commenters argue that certain categories of employees, for example, employees in residential renovation and remodeling, do not need the protection provided by the standard. These arguments are based on a belief that there are no significant exposures in certain workplace settings. The evidence that exposures are non-existent in any sector is not supported by the data, including studies or anecdotes that employees have been detected with BLLs that exceed the standard in all occupational settings. Indeed, other commenters argue that the protection offered by the standard is inadequate to address the significant risks posed for employees. OSHA views this evidence in its totality as supporting the continuing need for the standard.

OSHA appreciates all the thought and effort that the commenters put into their comments. OSHA has considered them all and has responded, as appropriate. In its conclusions, OSHA presents various initiatives that it will undertake or consider to make the standard more cost-effective, responding to the needs of small businesses while maintaining protection for employees.

8.1.2 Nature of the Complaints and Comments, and OSHA Responses

On June 6, 2005, OSHA published a notice seeking comments and data on the Lead in Construction standard (70 FR 32739). As of December 7, 2005, OSHA received 45 comments from 36 organizations and individuals. One comment raised issues that are not related to lead use in construction; one comment simply asked for an extension of the comment period, which OSHA granted. Two letters provided no comments and five were copies of other comments. Consequently, OSHA received 35 substantive comments, some of which included multiple attachments. A list of commenters is provided in Appendix C. This section presents the twenty-eight questions posed in the Notice and the comments received on each one.


Type of Commenter Number of Comments
Government 8
Trade Association 8
Advocacy Groups 3
Industry 13
Union 1
Individual 2
Other 1

Procedural Issues

The Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy (SBA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (COC) stated that Congress had a clear expectation that following the interim final rule OSHA would adopt a final standard in the not-too-distant future after notice and comment rulemaking. SBA recommended that OSHA begin the rulemaking process. SBA stated that, while OSHA's interim final standard seems most appropriate for large-scale construction projects (such as bridge work or commercial demolition), it appears to be unduly expensive and burdensome for small businesses in other areas (most notably residential renovation and remodeling).  SBA and COC also stated that, in evaluating whether alternative, less burdensome approaches to the current interim final standard are feasible, OSHA should carefully evaluate the quality of data and other technical information that underpins its current rule.  They also argued that because OSHA's current interim final standard was developed without public input and has remained in interim status for nearly 13 years, there is concern over the underlying data supporting the standard and that OMB's new requirements for data quality and peer review of influential regulatory science should ensure that any revised standard is properly tailored to the construction industry and the unique work environments where these hazards occur.

The American Subcontractors Association (ASA), the NAHB, and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC) also noted that OSHA has not   pursued notice and comment rulemaking. ASA argued that the Information Quality Act of 2000 requires a higher standard of review than was required in 1992. ASA recommended that OSHA adopt a new LIC standard that is based on sound scientific research and input from stakeholders. PHCC claimed that the "lack of sufficient information" cited by OSHA in 1978 still exists today. PHCC recommended that the standard be made less costly for small entities.

OSHA notes that in the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, Sections 1031 and 1032 (Pub. L. 102-550), Congress specifically directed OSHA to issue as an interim final the Lead in Construction standard without notice and comment rulemaking, and Congress specified in detail the requirements of the standard; (see 58 FR 26590, 26591; May 4, 1993). Congress did not specify that OSHA issue a final standard through rulemaking or set a deadline for such a rulemaking, though it permitted OSHA to do so.

This is in contrast to a similar circumstances when Section 126 of the Superfund and Hazardous Waste Reauthorization Act of 1986 directed OSHA to issue the Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response standard as an interim final within 60 days. That Act  directed OSHA to propose a final standard pursuant to Section 6 of the OSHA Act (requiring notice and a hearing) and issue a final standard within one year.

Notice Questions

Cost issues

1. What does a lead testing and protection program cost employers?

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) stated that the majority of work being performed with respect to remodeling and renovation activities on residential housing units is being performed by small business entities that lack the technical expertise to perform an exposure assessment.  These small construction companies would have to solicit the services of a health and safety consultant specializing in industrial hygiene services.  Based upon discussions with several industrial hygiene consulting firms, NAHB estimates that three days of personal air monitoring is necessary to establish a baseline exposure profile for each employee.  The cost of exposure monitoring, reporting, and project management is estimated at $2000 per remodeling project.  The cost of employee medical surveillance including analyzing blood tests for total lead and ZPP (zinc protoporphyrin) and a pulmonary function test for medical clearance for respirator use is approximately $200 per employee. Additionally, NAHB estimates the cost of maintaining a respiratory protection program, which includes the cost of respirators, recordkeeping, storage and maintenance, at $500 to $1000 per year. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Table A-2, the average cost of a professional remodeling project is $7,155.  Based upon a remodeling firm that employs three employees, the associated cost of monitoring and medical testing is approximately $2,600 which would add nearly 40 percent to the total cost of the project on average.  This does not include the cost of respiratory protection nor does it account for scheduling and process delays that have not been quantified.  According to NAHB, complying with these mandates is cost prohibitive for the majority of remodelers working in the residential construction industry.

The Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) AFL-CIO noted that the greatest share of costs of implementing protective measures are those associated with environmental protection (containment, waste disposal). The commenter stated that the Connecticut Department of Transportation estimated that full compliance with the standard increased the cost of bridge painting by $2/sq.ft. or 15-20 percent of repainting costs. The cost of containment increased the cost by more than $4/sq.ft. BCTD noted that guidance documents are available to help reduce the cost of industrial hygiene consulting. Standardized training is also available. BCTD also stated that costs associated with lab analysis are minimal ($5 to $25 per sample). Finally, BCTD stated that compliance saves money by avoiding medical removal and other costs associated with a poorly controlled site.

Tank Industry Consultants (TIC) said the cost of compliance is about one percent of total operating expenses each year. The Lead and Environmental Hazards Association (LEHA) stated that with the exception of projects using Federal funds requiring lead testing, very little paint testing is performed by contractors conducting routine remodeling and renovation activities.  Similarly, personal air monitoring is only performed when required by the contract on Federally funded jobs. LEHA thought that the costs of maintaining a respirator program are prohibitive, and the learning curve for compliance is so steep that trainers teaching lead-safe work practices often recommend using Environmental or Industrial Hygiene firms to ensure compliance. EnviroScience Consultants (ESC) stated that daily monitoring costs, for a third party, are $450 for 8 hours, $80 for lab, $50/month for medical surveillance.  Respirators range from $25 to $1,000. One individual stated that costs are irrelevant.

Many small employers obey OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard; as analyzed in depth in the Respiratory Protection rulemaking, OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard is feasible for even the smallest of businesses.[189] However, in the conclusions section of this lookback review document, OSHA presents several initiatives it is considering to reduce small business costs.

OSHA has considered these comments as part of its detailed analysis of costs in chapter 7. OSHA believes that its estimates, which are detailed and based on many sources, are less than the costs given above, and if anything, are too high.

2. How much does compliance with the standard affect the cost of a project for the consumer?

NAHB stated that research by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies shows that consumers pay somewhat more than twice as much to have professionals complete their home improvement projects, compared to what consumers pay when they finish the same types of projects themselves.  A non-trivial part of this difference comes from the savings consumers realize by not complying with OSHA regulations. TIC stated that compliance increases the cost of its typical project by 15 percent. ESC stated that compliance adds 5 percent to the cost.

3. Does lead abatement affect the value of a housing unit?

NAHB is unaware of any empirical data that suggest that lead abatement affects the value of a housing unit. ESC stated that the value increases 2 to 20 percent depending on the amount of LBP involved. An individual stated that it reduced the value.

4. How do employers determine whether LBP is present at a site? How often does the employer test sites for lead prior to the start of a project? On what basis is the decision to test made?

BCTD stated that very little testing is done. A survey by the International of Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) found testing varies by location. In Missouri, most pre-1978 units are not tested. In another Midwest state, contractors request the information from owners, but receive it less than 50 percent of the time. When the contractors test themselves, they find lead 20 percent of the time.  Age and type of structure are an important means of identifying the likely presence of LBP.

TIC stated that testing is done prior to developing project specifications. LEHA stated that for R&R jobs, it is rare for contractors to test for LBP. When testing is performed as part of Federally funded projects, x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis is commonly used. For private funded projects, sodium rhodizonate test swabs are occasionally used at the request of the owner.  LEHA said that the known false negative rates associated with chemical spot test kits using sodium rhodizonate is of great concern.

ESC stated that paint chips are the primary method. The decision to test is based on the age of the property and the type of paint disturbance involved. One individual stated that employers only did it if compelled to do so.

5. How much time does it take for initial site testing results to be known?

BCTD states that most labs take 5 days. For an additional fee, results can be provided in 24 hours. XRF methods can be used for accurate and immediate detection, but initial equipment costs are higher. TIC stated that representative samples of the coatings on water storage tanks are analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy to determine if lead (and other heavy metals) are present by weight.  The testing is conducted on all coating systems found prior to the preparation of repainting specifications to select the method of coating removal, to determine if the waste material will need to be disposed of as a hazardous material, and to determine if those performing work operations could be exposed to lead concentrations above OSHA regulated levels.

LEHA said that test results are occasionally provided as part of the bid package or the presence is indicated without specifics. ESC said that, if XRF is used, results are instantaneous; if paint chips are used, it takes 24 to 48 hours.

Note that in its cost analysis, OSHA assumed that contractors would use the method giving immediate results.

6. How often is LBP identified?

BCTD cited the Jacobs study on prevalence of LBP in housing and noted that 80 to 90 percent of steel bridges have LBP.  TIC stated that LBP is identified at about 70 percent of the projects on which it works. LEHA stated that the Minneapolis Lead Program estimates that approximately 90 percent of all residential dwellings in the city contain lead-based paint.  Approximately 10,000 of the 170,000+ residential units have been tested for the presence of LBP. ESC stated that LBP is identified 50 percent of the time.

7. When LBP is found, how widespread is it? Which parts of housing units are most likely to have LBP and deteriorated LBP?

BCTD stated that lead is usually in higher concentrations on exteriors. Windows, doors, and other surfaces exposed to friction are lead hotspots. LBP may also be found in kitchens and bathrooms. On industrial structures, when LBP is used it is likely to coat the entire structure.

LEHA stated that the location of LBP varies widely across the country.  In some areas, it is common to find LBP in kitchens, baths, and windows, and LBP on exterior siding and trim.  In other areas, lead-based paint and varnish were used throughout the dwellings. Detailed information was collected by HUD during their Lead Grant Review study conducted by the National Center for Healthy Homes. ESC stated that the older the property, the more widespread LBP. It is most frequently found on exterior siding/trim, porches, windows and door systems, and baseboards.

8. How often are action levels exceeded?

BCTD cited a NIOSH analysis (Ex. 2-16-1, p. 3-6). The overall median exposure level was higher for the construction industry than general industry (22 µg/m³ vs. 7 µg/m³).  In addition, inspection records showed no decrease in median lead exposure levels in the construction industry for the period 1993-1997.  Based on compliance inspection data from this study, the median lead level for the smallest employers (1-9 employees) was above the Action Level at 0.031 mg/m³.  However, for employers with 100 or more employees the median level was below the Action Level at 0.001 mg/m³.

TIC stated that its work practices are designed to avoid exposures above the action level. LEHA stated that the action level when treating windows is only exceeded during actual removal of window components painted with LBP. This exposure lasts about a minute per window. ESC stated that it is generally not exceeded on residential and commercial buildings, and it is frequently exceeded on steel structures, particularly with abrasive blasting. One individual stated that the levels are exceeded all the time.

9. Data on employee blood lead levels.

NIOSH submitted 2003 ABLES BLL data for SIC codes 1500-1799, or NAICS 23:
  • 6,362 laboratory BLLs were reported on 3,284 employees.
  • 1,215 employees had a peak BLL of 25 µg/µL or greater, based on the Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2010 objective BLL from workplace exposures.
  • 266 employees had a peak BLL of 40 µg/dL or greater, the BLL at which a medically removed employee is returned to former job status.
  • 92 employees had a peak BLL of 50 µg/dL or greater (three tests of 50 µg/dL warrant OSHA medical removal).
  • 37 employees had a peak BLL of 60 µg/dL or greater (one test of 60 µg/dL warrants OSHA medical removal).
The complete 2003 ABLES data indicate that several construction-related SICs; SIC 1721, painting and paperhanging; SIC 1799, lead paint removal; SIC 1622, bridge and tunnel employees; SIC 1629, heavy construction; and SIC 1795, wrecking and demolition, are among the industries with the most employees reported with BLLs of 25 to 39 µg/dL and 40 µg/dL, or greater (see Table 1).

BCTD summarized ABLES reports from NIOSH. BCTD stated that two of the states with the most extensive ABLES data, Massachusetts and California, are a valuable source of information for elevated BLL trends.  From 1996-2001, a total of 1,821 cases of BLL above 25 µg/dL were reported to the Massachusetts ABLES program among persons 15 years or older.  Seventy-seven percent of the occupationally exposed cases (217 out of 282) with BLLs of 40 µg/dL or greater worked in the construction industry, primarily as painters (41  percent) and deleaders (24 percent).  House painters had some of the highest BLLs: 15 of the 69 (22 percent) house painters had BLLs of 60 µg/dL or greater and 3 had BLLs of 100 µg/dL or greater.[190]

The California Department of Health Services (CDHS) receives reports for adults 16 years of age or older who were exposed to lead in the workplace.  Between 1995 and

1999, CDHS received 47,906 reports of elevated blood lead levels, representing the exposures of 17,775 individual employees from 1,030 different employers. (The number of reports exceeds the number of individuals in the registry because employees may be tested several times each year.) Sixteen percent of the reports were for individuals employed in construction, with painting, masonry work, wrecking and demolition ranking among the ten industries with the largest number of employees reported with BLLs 25 µg/dL or greater.[191]

The following data were compiled from BLL results taken on Tank Industry Consultants (TIC) employees from January 1994 to July 2005.  The results include 366 BLL tests.  Of these 366 test results, the minimum result was 0 μg/m³, the maximum result was 47 μg/m³, and the mean was 6.90 μg/m³.  Only two BLLs have been greater than the OSHA action level of 40 μg/dL. In 1995, one employee's BLL was 47 μg/dL and in 1996, another employee's BLL was 42 μg/dL.  The only other BLL that even approached 40 μg/dL was a 37 μg/dL in 2001. This was a baseline BLL and was, therefore, not indicative of that employee's exposure with TIC, but of their exposure while with the most recent past employer.

10. Are there confusing, conflicting, or duplicative requirements in the OSHA, EPA, and HUD programs that could be clarified?

HUD recommended the use of a de minimis area based on square feet below which the standard or parts of the standard would not apply and obtaining an initial exposure assessment would not be needed if lead-safe work practices (LSWP) were used. LSWP include wet work, avoidance of high dust practices, and area protection. HUD bans open flame burning; sanding or blasting without HEPA filter; heat guns over 1,100ŗ F; dry sanding or scraping; and certain paint strippers. HUD recommended exempting residential housing where a competent person determines the following:
  • Structure built after 1977.
  • Only LSWP are used and negative exposure assessment for airborne lead is documented at least every 12 months.
  • An acceptable LBP inspection report indicates that no LBP is present (0.5 percent or 1 mg/cm²) in occupied areas.
HUD recommended that OSHA recognize HUD's LSWP requirements for training and the curricula that EPA and HUD have developed as sufficient for employees in residential settings. HUD further recommended that OSHA cover small businesses.

BCTD stated that it can be confusing to navigate through these three sets of requirements and urged OSHA to use this proceeding as an opportunity to "consult and coordinate with" its sister agencies for two objectives: first, to determine whether OSHA can better accomplish its own broader objectives by adopting approaches taken by the other agencies within their more limited jurisdiction; and second, to develop a single, comprehensive guidance document outlining the measures employers must take to comply with these standards.

BCTD particularly urged OSHA to consider EPA's requirements for controlling the quality and effectiveness of employee training programs. Although limited in their application, the EPA regulations nonetheless provide an important model of how OSHA can assure that employees exposed to lead are adequately prepared to perform their work in a safe and healthful manner. In evaluating EPA's training and accreditation requirements, OSHA should keep in mind that EPA premised its decision to require a 16-hour training program -- rather than 32 hours, as the agency originally proposed -- on its understanding that employees would receive additionaltraining under OSHA requirements.  In moving from its proposed 32hour curriculum to 16 hours, the EPA eliminated respiratory protection, personal hygiene methods, waste removal, medical removal protection, and any emphasis on construction related matters, i.e., OSHA programs to ensure that employees are adequately trained to work safely.

TIC stated that federal rules are not a problem, but that several States, such as New Jersey, have varying and confusing regulations on licensure. Although ORC (Organizational Resources Counselors) members did not identify specific examples of confusing, conflicting, or duplicative requirements in the OSHA, EPA, and HUD programs, ORC stated that some employers, especially those small employers who work on a contract basis for large companies, can be confused about the applicability of each agency's rules. The current HUD Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housingprovide useful guidance in this area. However, ORC recommended that OSHA, EPA, and HUD jointly develop additional, easy to access, compliance outreach materials, including an on-line tool to assist employers in understanding when each agency's rules would apply.

NAHB stated that the work practice and training requirements of the OSHA, EPA and HUD regulations are not coordinated or consistent with each other, which results in confusion, overlap, and, in some cases, an inability to comply because of conflicting requirements.  OSHA, EPA and HUD have, or will be, each issuing separate regulations specific to lead-based paint.  The methods by which employers are to comply with these separate regulations are not clearly stated and have resulted in confusion. NAHB argues that there are at least three major areas where the rules promulgated by OSHA, EPA, or HUD may conflict, overlap, or at a minimum are very confusing to employers.

First, OSHA's Lead in Construction standard applies to all construction work where an employee may be occupationally exposed to lead (i.e., any disturbance of lead based paint), but EPA's rules establish that a lead hazard is present when two square feet or more of an interior surface or 10 percent of the surface area of any small interior object (e.g., baseboards, circuit covers, and air vents) or 20 feet or more of an exterior surface is disturbed.  While NAHB agrees with EPA that there should be a threshold disturbance at which action may be required, the current policies are vastly different making determining the applicable set of regulations confusing to small employers.

Second, when lead may be present the work practices for certain tasks are different for each rule promulgated by OSHA and HUD (EPA is currently considering the need for a renovation and remodeling rule).  For example, OSHA allows the use of practices that HUD prohibits, so long as interim controls are put in place.  HUD prohibits open flame burning/torching, machine sanding/grinding, abrasive blasting without HEPA control, heat guns over 1100 degrees, dry sanding/scraping, and paint solvent remover with certain chemical solvents.  If practices and procedures are available to minimize or eliminate exposure while conducting these tasks, NAHB believes the tasks should be accepted, regardless of which rule governs the activity.

Third, although OSHA, EPA, and HUD require employees to attend training, the requirements and content often are inconsistent and necessitate employers/employees to attend at least two separate training classes/courses.  OSHA requires that employers communicate information concerning lead hazards to employees and identify construction operations that could result in exposure to lead; they must implement engineering controls and work practices that can reduce potential exposures to lead. OSHA also requires training in the proper selection, fit, use, and limitations of respirators, if respirators are required for a particular task.  OSHA requires that this training be provided prior to the time of job assignment or prior to the start up date; sometimes, it must be provided annually for employees exposed to lead at or above the action level.  No duration/length of training time is specified.  EPA requires all lead professionals (i.e., abatement employees, supervisors, inspector, project designer, risk assessors) to attend one of several training courses to become certified on lead-safe work practices.  EPA certifications must be renewed every three years.  For housing covered by the Lead Safe Housing Rule, HUD requires all maintenance employees and remodelers disturbing significant amounts of lead-based paint that does not meet the definition of abatement to attend a one-day training course and pass a test. HUD also has a web-based training for the visual assessment of deteriorated paint. It does not appear that the content in either EPA's or HUD's training courses satisfy the OSHA training requirements.

In urging OSHA to work with EPA and HUD to coordinate acceptable safe work practices and training programs that ensure consistency among each of the agency's rules, NAHB points to Section 1032 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Reduction Act of 1992, which requires this coordination between the EPA and Department of Labor/OSHA, as it states: "The Secretary of Labor, in promulgating regulations under section 1031, shall consult and coordinate with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for the purpose of achieving the maximum enforcement of title IV of the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 while imposing the least burdens of duplicative requirementson those subject to such title and Act and for other purposes."

ESC recommended a de minimis level for lead in paint which would eliminate the need for monitoring. It suggested on-site XRF to determine the presence of lead.

As discussed in the conclusions section of this lookback review document, OSHA will consult with HUD and EPA on creating a joint employee training program. OSHA will also consult with them about issuing initial lead assessment guidelines that have greater consistency.

Renovation/remodeling industry structure issues

11. What are the lengths of renovation/remodeling projects?

NAHB stated that construction and remodeling activities vary too greatly to typify.  ESC stated the average job was 2 weeks.

12. How many separate projects (separate residential/commercial units) are completed in a year?

NAHB reported that in 2003, professionals completed 14,125,000 home improvement jobs, compared to 10,595,000 done by the homeowners themselves, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies.  The most common was replacement of flooring, paneling or ceilings, and the least common was the addition or alteration of a kitchen.

13. Where there is deteriorated paint, how much time does it normally take to prepare the surface for repainting? What percentage of the total project is this?

NAHB stated that there is no meaningful answer for this question.  Preparation time depends on how degraded the paint surface is, the type of paint, the type of new coating to be applied, what has happened to the paint surface in earlier phases of the remodeling job, the amount of area to be prepared, and the geometry of the surfaces. BCTD stated IUPAT's informal poll indicated 30-50 percent of residential jobs and 20-40 percent of commercial jobs are spent on surface preparation. ESC stated the surface preparation took 2 days and represented 5 percent of the project.

14. What is the rate of employee turnover?

NAHB stated that the residential construction industry (i.e., home building and remodeling) workforce is transitory by nature and there is a very high rate of turnover in the workforce.  Construction employees are more likely than the average employee to change occupations; they also change employers frequently within the construction industry, possibly working for several different employers each year, e.g., one large residential construction firm has a workforce of 2,500 employees, yet in the year 2003 issued 8,000 W-2 forms, a turnover of 5,500 employees. BCTD stated that tenure is highly variable. ESC gave a turnover rate of 15 percent.

15. What is the average age of the units worked on?

NAHB is not aware of any correlation between the age of the house and probability of remodeling. ESC stated the average age of units it worked on was 80 years.

16. Are there sources of lead exposure in construction other than LBP and older plumbing, piping, and solder?

NIOSH reported that lead exposure during cable splicing was evaluated in a NIOSH health hazard evaluation.  An environmental survey of underground utility vaults (UUVs) was conducted to assess exposure to lead from cable splicing activities and to observe work practices and procedures.  Selected employees' lead exposures were evaluated by collecting personal breathing zone (PBZ) air samples during work in the UUVs, and collecting wipe samples from various UUV work surfaces, service vehicles, and employees' clothing and hands.  Hand wipe samples were taken before and after completing a cable splicing activity, as well as before and after hand washing. Similar wipe samples were taken at the training center during a training session for cable splicers.  Airborne lead concentrations measured in each employee's PBZ ranged from 0.22 to 17 µg/m3, expressed as 8-hour, time-weighted averages (TWAs).  Analysis of wipe samples taken from work surfaces, clothing, and hands of employees working in UUVs showed concentrations of lead ranging from non-detectable to 9.3 milligrams per wipe sample.  Blood specimens for BLLs and ZPP were collected from 43 employees who worked in the underground transmission and distribution system.  Employees' BLLs ranged from less than 5 µg/dL of blood to 43 µg/dL.  BLLs from two employees exceeded 40 µg/dL, a level at which OSHA requires more frequent testing.  ZPP levels in blood samples ranged from 12 to 72 µg/dL.

NAHB is unaware of any sources of lead exposure in homes except possibly those listed. ESC stated that glazed blocks and ceramic tiles could have lead.

BCTD cited a 1998 ILO document that found lead in paint, insecticides, rubbers, and glazing. They stated that construction employees may encounter lead when performing renovation and maintenance in any of the industries listed or when using the following lead-containing materials during construction activities: brazing materials; masonry mortar for use in high temperature, corrosive environments; lead shielding and process vessels; and glazing materials, including old putty compounds and stained glass.  Finally, lead may be encountered on hazardous waste sites in contaminated soils and other media.

17. What are the characteristics of firms that specialize in lead abatement?

ESC stated that 20 percent of its work was lead abatement. Total revenues $3.8 million; employees licensed for lead consulting, 15.

18. Are data or studies available on the extent to which older structures have already been renovated (e.g., window change-out)?

BCTD stated that TRB indicated that about 2-5 percent of bridges are de-leaded annually. LEHA suggested obtaining information from HUD's Office of Healthy Housing and Lead Hazard Control Grants and DOE's Weatherization Program.

Industrial construction issues

BCTD cited high levels of exposures reported in a 1992 study. A more recent study of exposures of abrasive blasters repainting NJ bridges found exposures between 13,176 to 307,000 µg/m³ based on 17 samples averaged over 2-3 hours. Lead concentration in the paint ranged from 13.5 percent to 17.5 percent. They cited a study of the implementation of special protective lead provisions governing a $20 million bridge rehabilitation project. The demographic characteristics of that job illustrate the diversity of trades involved in this kind of work.  During the first 14 months of the project, 188 employees were employed. The numbers of employees in the predominant trades employed during this period were as follows: ironworkers (53), painters (38), laborers (37), carpenters (33),equipment operators and electricians (3).  On this job, a general contractor employed the majority of trades, including ironworkers, carpenters and laborers, while a painting subcontractor employed the painters.  Only the painters were provided showers and decontamination facilities.  It was not readily apparent to the owner and contractors responsible for the project that the ironworkers involved in rivet-busting, torch-cutting, and welding on lead-painted surfaces needed hand-washing water.  Lack of hygiene facilities poses a particular problem for take-home exposures.  Often, it is the trades that have, or are perceived as having, a lower risk of elevated lead exposure that are likely to be offered the least protection and may, as a result, carry the largest amount of lead off site.

Several investigators have demonstrated that ironworkers are likely to generate high airborne concentrations of lead during rivet-busting and torch-cutting.[192]  Risk of lead exposure during these tasks can be significant even when performed on previously de-leaded surfaces.  In studies involving previously de-leaded structures, average exposures among ironemployees involved in torch-cutting were 188µg/m³.[193]  Wipe sampling demonstrated that almost all the contractor vehicles were contaminated with lead and that the potential for take-home lead was very high.  For example, heavy equipment operators, who are described as having low airborne lead exposure, had the highest lead surface contamination in their personal vehicles (3600 µg/m²). Laborers had the highest contamination of personal clothing with lead dust measured at 4766 µg/m².  Separate clothes changing areas were not provided on this job and, although hand-washing water is said to have been provided by the general contractor, it was seldom used.

BCTD stated that these results are probably fairly representative of conditions in many parts of the U.S.  While much of the published literature has focused on exposure to lead on bridges and steel structures, the potential for similar exposures exists in industrial facilities where lead-painted tanks and process vessels are present.

19. Where is LBP being used and on what structures?

NIOSH stated that current usage of LBP is expected to be curtailed but not eliminated as a result of the Consumer Product Safety Commission ban on paint containing lead at concentrations over 0.06 percent.  The ban exempts coatings used for some building and equipment maintenance, billboards, and road signs, as long as they have specific lead warnings, thus some LBP may still be used in construction settings. The major source of LBP-related exposures is anticipated to be associated with renovation and repair of surfaces previously painted with lead prior to the ban.

ABLES does provide information on industry subgroups.  SIC 1721 (NAICS 238320) includes painting and paperhanging, the subgroup expected to work most often with paint products.  The ABLES data are reported cases that could include both removal of old paint or application of exempted coatings-no breakdown is available.  The 2003 ABLES data show the following statistics for painters and paperhangers:
  • 3,191 laboratory blood lead level tests were reported from 28 of the 37 ABLES states on 1,556 painters and paperhangers.
  • 1,343 of painters and paperhangers were residents of the states that reported them.
  • 678 had a peak blood lead level of 25 µg/dL or greater.
  • 157 had a peak BLL of 40 µg/dL or greater.
  • 38 had a peak BLL of 50 µg/dL or greater.
  • 20 had a peak BLL of 60 µg/dL or greater.
The ABLES program requires the reporting of blood lead levels of 25 µg/dL or greater.

Reports of blood lead levels less than 25 µg/dL are voluntary and incomplete. These data are only for state residents reported by their own state; out-of-state exposures are not included.

BCTD cited steel bridges, process vessels, water tanks, and other steel structures. ESC stated LBP is used on bridges. FHWA banned LBP on its projects in 1993.

TIC stated that when LBP is found on a water storage tank, it is often found on the exterior and interior dry (if applicable) parts of the tank.  Depending on the style of the tank, the coatings on these areas can comprise approximately 50 percent to 70 percent of the surface areas.  It can also be found on the interior container (water-bearing part) of the tank.  LBP is less frequently seen in newer and more recently rehabilitated structures.

20. What is the average length of a project? Shortest project? Longest project?

BCTD stated that its informal survey indicated that most projects lasted less than 2 months. Large bridge projects can last decades. TIC stated that the average project is about 10 weeks, the longest 20 weeks, and the shortest about 4 weeks. ESC stated the average was 2 weeks, the shortest 2 days, the longest 4 months.

21. What is the rate of employee turnover?

BCTD stated that some employees stay with a single employer for their career, but many have multiple employers. TIC's field employee turnover rate is approximately 50 percent.  Typically between 29-38 employees work for TIC.

22. Are there elements of the standard that pose particular compliance problems?

Prior to TIC's implementation of work practices that ensure employee exposures are below the action level, the requirement for repeating BLL and ZPP testing at intervals less than one year was both administratively restrictive and costly.  TIC employees work at various remote locations across the country on projects that can last from one day to several months, and it was difficult to find laboratories in some remote locations that performed the ZPP part of the test.

ORC stated that OSHA should eliminate the prohibition on use of historical data not obtained within the past 12 months.  ORC also urged OSHA to add definitions of historical and objective data to the standard. In the preamble to the interim final rule, OSHA offers no rationale for the 12-month limit on historical data.  Additionally, OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.58, December 13, 1993, Lead Exposure In Construction; Interim Final Rule-- Inspection and Compliance Procedures, notes that, "If the employer is relying on monitoring data obtained on projects conducted by other employers or data were obtained more than 12 months before, but no significant differences exist and the historical data would otherwise be an acceptable substitute, a de minimis violation would exist." OSHA's enforcement policy regarding historical data that are more than 12 months old seems to recognize that proper use of this data would not be expected to result in a decrease in employee protection.  However, ORC is aware that many companies with outstanding safety and health programs have a "no violation" policy and thus are not able to find relief in OSHA's de minimis violation determination.  Also, an engineering firm (CI Engineering, Ex. 3-9) supported a longer period for historical data and suggested that firms be allowed to share data on similar work. Another firm (Gobbell Hays Partners, Ex. 3-23) stated that OSHA should allow the use of objective data in determining if respirator protection is necessary.  The use of historical data more than one year old should be allowed.  The key to both historical and objective data is that the work practices are the same as those used when the historical or objective data were collected.  The age of the data is not relevant if other factors are the same.

OSHA will consider whether older, historical data and data from other firms or from building owners can be used for an initial assessment. Such an approach may make the standard more cost-effective, reduce impacts on small businesses, and maintain employee protection.

23. Have there been technological changes or improvements that facilitate lead removal and compliance?

NIOSH stated that the 1998 NIOSH Report to Congress includes a review of available remediation methods and associated exposures. Maximum employee lead exposures during the use of heat guns and abrasive methods were 18 and 8 times the PEL for lead, respectively, despite the use of administrative and engineering controls. Alternatives to residential LBP removal, such as enclosure, encapsulation, or replacement, may be acceptable alternatives in some cases. NIOSH determined that employee lead exposures were generally low during enclosure, encapsulation, and replacement. More than 95 percent of the employee exposures were less than the OSHA PEL during these methods of LBP abatement, and no exposure exceeded 2.5 times the PEL. HUD also found these methods to be the most promising abatement methods in terms of overall costs and efficacy. NIOSH recommends safer abatement methods be used where possible instead of LBP removal by torch burning, heat gun, or abrasive methods.

In addition, there have been a number of NIOSH research efforts that have facilitated assessment of surface lead contamination. NIOSH research has shown that air sampling exposure assessment techniques, when used alone, do not evaluate all employee risks for lead exposures; ingestion, take-home exposure issues, and other incidental routes of exposure can be equally important. Lead residues on the hands of employees can present significant exposure health risks because lead might be ingested during eating, drinking, or smoking. Also, lead-containing dust can contaminate employees' clothes, vehicles, and homes. To address this issue, NIOSH scientists developed a sensitive, specific field-portable sampling method, Handwipe Disclosing Method for the Presence of Lead, to prevent lead exposure through immediate colorimetric detection of lead compounds (specifically oxides and carbonates) on skin and other surfaces. This technology was licensed in 2003 by a global supplier of industrial hygiene sampling products. Kits based on the patented method are now commercially available under the brand name Full Disclosure and have the potential for use as an inexpensive and effective screening tool for detecting lead on dermal and hard surfaces.

NlOSH scientists have also found that washing with soap and water to remove lead from the skin is not an effective cleansing method.  To address this, NIOSH researchers have developed the Handwipe Removal Method For Toxic Metals (patent pending), a skin cleansing product that incorporates three critical aspects of dermal decontamination for lead; mechanical removal, surfaction, and pH adjustment. Preliminary results indicate that the new skin cleanser effectively removes lead and other metals from the skin. These two handwipe products are designed to be used together for detection and decontamination of lead on employees' hands. NIOSH will forward a copy of the study results to OSHA when they are published.

NIOSH is also developing a new method for cleaning dusty work clothes that may be applicable to construction sites. The Clothes Cleaning Process originally developed for mining operations, involves an employee entering a booth under negative pressure while wearing appropriate PPE, opening a valve to release air through nozzles, rotating for about 30 seconds, and exiting with cleaner clothes. The system is designed for use with a baghouse, but NIOSH is developing a stand-alone version of the booth that will use a HEPA filter for the exhaust air.

BCTD stated that newer technologies are not as widely used as would be desired to reduce lead exposures. These technologies include:
  • Over coating
  • Chemical stripping
  • Use of long-handle torches for distancing the employee from the source of exposure
  • Mechanical removal with shrouded vacuum power tools (vs. abrasive blasting)
  • Encapsulation
  • Vacuum blasting
  • Wet blasting
  • Using remotely operated automated devices
BCTD stated that vacuum blasting, wet blasting, and use of remotely operated automated devices could reduce lead exposures significantly. They noted that OSHA standards that are technology forcing could drive increased use.

TIC stated that robotic blasters have been used on some jobs to remove the paint to eliminate the need for employees to sandblast the steel surfaces at a slightly reduced cost. Wet blasting can be used to reduce airborne dust production although with no cost reduction. ESC noted better chemical strippers and using dry ice for abrasive blasting.

OSHA will work with NIOSH to develop guidance documents, to bring information about new technologies to the attention of employers and employees.

24. Are there areas where additional employee protections are needed?

NIOSH stated that new surface sampling tools provide a basis for supplementing existing air sampling determinations for triggering hygiene provisions. They enhance the ability to target the existing OSHA hygiene provisions to tasks and conditions of concern.

BCTD recommended the following:
  • Improved biological monitoring requirements.
  • A reduced PEL and action level.
  • Greater enforcement of engineering controls requirements to prevent employers from using respiratory protection as an exclusive remedy for compliance.
  • Universal hand-washing facilities for employees exposed to lead, regardless of airborne concentrations.
  • Greater specificity in the duration and quality assurance associated with employee training.
  • Removal of the 30-day trigger for medical surveillance requirements.
BCTD stated that hinging employee protection entirely on air monitoring may be inadequate because exposure can occur through ingestion without elevated airborne levels. They stated that OSHA should require hand washing for all employees exposed to lead. OSHA should also consider requiring surface wipe sampling to verify that lead concentrations are below 200 µg/ft² in eating and change areas to minimize the risk of employees ingesting lead or carrying it offsite into their homes. OSHA should require the use of HEPA vacuums to remove lead dust from clothing worn off-site.

Inaddition, BCTD encouraged OSHA to craft biological monitoring requirements that are consistent with those recommended in the Center to Protect Worker's Rights (CPWR) Model Specifications for the Protection ofEmployees from Lead in Steel Structures. The biological monitoring requirements of the current standard lack requirements for an exit blood lead test and specifies a frequency of periodic blood lead monitoring that is far too sparse to provide sufficient protection to employees in an industry where job conditions can change rapidly. As currently regulated, an employee could have a low initial BLL, be exposed to extremely high levels of lead and laid off before ever receiving a 2nd or periodic BLL test.  Both the employee and future employers could be harmed from such an occurrence.

ESC suggested more attention to hand-to-mouth activity, and use of wipe samples on hands and inside facepieces. As part of the guidance OSHA will develop with NIOSH, OSHA will stress the importance of good hand washing techniques, and OSHA will also stress the importance of not tracking lead home, from the workplace.

NYSOHCN provided the following recommendations:

1. The selection of the correct level of respiratory protection can be a complex decision, and should not be based solely on the computation of an 8-hr TWA.

The current standard is unclear on whether performing a high exposure task for a limited amount of time (anything less than a full shift) triggers a higher level of respiratory protection.  On a typical construction site, employees perform many different tasks representing multiple exposure scenarios every day.  For example, a typical iron employee, during the course of a day, will perform a variety of tasks, such as burning (a high exposure task), grinding (another high exposure activity), drilling (a low exposure activity), and reaming (another low exposure task).  Using an 8-hr time weighted average as an assessment tool can potentially obscure high exposure activities.  An 8-hr TWA of 442 µg/m³ can represent one hour of burning at 3,500 µg/m³ and seven hours of reaming at 5 µg/m³.  In the exposure scenario, it is unlikely that the selection of respiratory protection based solely on the 8-hr TWA would be adequately protective.  In an article on Task Based Exposure Assessment, Goldberg et al. point out that little information is available regarding the biological consequences of short-term high exposure versus a similar 8-hr exposure represented by a constant lower level exposure.[194]

The authors of the article advocate the use of a task-based exposure assessment as a better method to closely examine a constantly changing exposure scenario.  The task- based approach disaggregates the average exposures and permits a thorough examination of the various exposure determinants.  Using this method, health and safety professionals can examine individual task related exposure determinants and better select the appropriate engineering and work practice controls and respiratory protection.  The authors also point out that an 8-hour TWA does not take into account the affect of particle size distribution produced by different tasks.  Two earlier studies by Froines et al. and Hodgkins et al. found that absorbed dose was related to particle size distribution.[195]  The authors state that, based on these studies, it is likely that smaller particle size produced by tasks such as oxyacetylene torch cutting would result in greater deep lung particle deposition and greater systemic distribution and absorption, a fact that is not accounted for using the standard assessment tool.

2. The current medical surveillance schedule is inadequate; employees should be tested monthly for the length of the job.

Under the current provisions of the medical surveillance section of the construction lead standard, after the initial 6-month period of bimonthly testing, so long as BLLs do not exceed 39 µg/dL, employees are tested biannually.  Twice yearly testing does not take into account the fact that exposure levels can fluctuate widely and rapidly during the course of a construction project.  While it is true that the demolition phase is normally the initial step and the highest exposure activity, it is also true that elements of demolition may extend almost to the end of some projects.  As illustrated in Case Report 2, it does not take long for an employee to acquire lead toxicity and for clinical manifestations to occur.[196]  Short periods of high exposure tasks (cutting, burning, grinding) can rapidly elevate employee BLLs.

Several state and city DOTs have recognized the inadequacy of the current medical surveillance schedule and have instituted more stringent provisions.  The New York City DOT (NYCDOT), the New Jersey DOT (NJDOT) and the Connecticut Lead Intervention Network in Construction (CLINIC) plan have instituted more stringent medical surveillance schedules.  The NYCDOT and NJDOT require monthly blood lead testing.

3. Elevated biological monitoring results should initiate commensurate level of industrial hygiene response.

Currently all of the protective provisions of the standard except for medical removal protection (MRP) are triggered exclusively by air monitoring levels. OSHA should include the use of elevated BLLs as a trigger to initiate specific responses (e.g., site inspections, increased biological monitoring, IH intervention any time an employee's BLL exceeds a significant marker).  Elevated BLLs can often times be a better signal of a failed program than air monitoring results.  An elevated BLL is a clear indicator of a significant breach in a lead control program. BLL is a biomarker of acute exposure in active lead-exposed employees.  Both the NYCDOT and the CLINIC plan use BLL indicators as trigger levels that initiate specific commensurate responses.  Several states have incorporated the use of BLL results into their employee lead exposure policies.  NYCDOT and the CLINIC program use BLL indicators as trigger levels that initiate specific responses.

4. Based on current research regarding the deleterious effects of lead at levels significantly lower than previously thought, the advances in lead control technology, and the overall reduction of BLLs for the general population, the goals of the revised standard should be to reduce employees BLL below 25 µg/dL.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) show that average BLLs in the U.S. declined approximately 13 µg/dL from 1976 to 1999.  The Construction Lead standard should at a minimum mirror this reduction in the general population.  The current U.S. Public Health Service Guideline is to reduce the number of adults with BLLs greater than 25 µg/dL.  The Healthy People 2010 has a goal that no persons will have BLLs greater than 25 µg/dL from work exposures.  In 1990, NIOSH set as a national goal the elimination of employee exposures that resulted in employee blood lead levels (BLLs) greater than 25 µg/dL.  It is impossible to reconcile these national priorities with the current lead in construction standard goal of keeping BLLs below 40 µg/dL.

Current research indicates that there is no threshold regarding the effects of blood lead.  A recent case study published in the Canadian Journal of Clinical Medicine discusses an employee with significant and persistent symptoms of lead toxicity at levels < 40µg/dL.

Reductions in employee BLLs should not be a significant hardship for the construction industry.  Besides the reduction of BLLs in the general population there have been significant advances in local exhaust ventilation tools, HEPA vacuums, encapsulants, and other engineering controls since the standard was promulgated.

The outcome of this review of the lead standard should include an examination of information available in current peer review articles regarding health effects from lead exposure at levels below presently established public health guidelines.  Recent studies have noted the toxic effects of lead in children (reduced IQ) and adults (elevated blood pressure) at levels < 10 µg/dL.  In their article on Public Health and Policy Consequences for Lead, Rothenberg et al. point out that based on current research on low level lead exposure, the effect of lead on blood pressure appears to be similar to the effect on IQ, that the greatest changes occurred in the first few µg/dL of elevated BLL at levels < 10 µg/dL and that there does not appear to be a no-effect lower limit.[197]

5. The standard should encourage employers to reduce reliance on historical data and presumed exposure levels.  Whenever possible air monitoring should be used for exposure assessment and initial determination.

The information provided in case report 1 demonstrates the potential for exposure even while performing seemingly low exposure tasks.[198]  The case study based on a small crew of residential painters, highlights the necessity of conducting air monitoring even when employees are performing lead disturbing activities that are typically classified as low exposure activities, such as wet scraping. Under the provisions of the standard, manual scraping has a presumed exposure level up to 10 x the PEL.  Historical data can be used in lieu of exposure assessment monitoring for an initial determination, if monitoring has been conducted within the past 12 months and workplace conditions are similar; process, materials, control methods, work practices, and environmental conditions.  In this case, the paint crew was exposed to lead levels up to 46 times the PEL, even though they had followed accepted removal practices (wetting/HEPA vacuuming), and were trained in lead removal techniques (OSHA/HUD).  Even under these conditions, air-monitoring results were approximately 10 times the presumed exposure levels.

6. Rather than exempting sectors of the construction industry or minimizing requirements, OSHA should instead look at initiatives aimed at small business to assist them in fulfilling their lead health and safety needs such as how-to guides including simple program templates that are user friendly.

Both case report 1 and 3 point out the need for continued vigilance for lead exposed employees in the residential construction industry, particularly in light of the goal of the Healthy People 2010 plan for the potential remediation of 20 million homes.[199]

Many residential painting employers are small shops that find it difficult to be in compliance with all the provisions of the standard.  It would be unfair to employees in this industry to reduce their level of protection because of this financial burden.  An examination of data extracted from the New York State Heavy Metals

Registry identifies that in New York State at least 50 percent of employees with BLLs >40 mcg/dL are in residential construction.[200]  Data from the California Blood Lead Registry (2001-2003) indicate that employees in one segment of the residential construction industry, Painting and Paperhanging (SIC code 1721) have the second highest number of employees with reported BLLs 25 µg/dL or greater.[201]  These small shops that make up the residential paint industry in particular need assistance because they are often non-union shops with limited resources to meet the requirements of a reasonably protective lead program.

7. OSHA should encourage the adoption of the CPWR's model specifications.

The recently revised (2002) Model Specifications for the Protection of Employees from

Lead on Steel Structures produced by CPWR provides well thought out protective specifications for lead-exposed employees.

OSHA has considered these recommendations and believes the Lead in Construction standard is protective of employees. However, OSHA agrees that better guidance materials, directed especially to small businesses, will improve compliance and employee health.

Health Issues

25. Are additional data or studies available that provide both exposure and blood lead levels for construction employees?

BCTD cited a 1997 study that indicated that levels in bridge employees fell significantly after the standard was implemented. Personal exposure monitoring conducted on TIC job sites from 1996 - 2003 yielded results ranging from below detectable levels to 26.13 μg/m³.

NAHB stated that potential exposures of lead on employees vary depending on the remodeling activity.  One study looked at door and window weatherization activities.[202]  During door renovation work, which includes activities such as modifying doors, planing doors in place, installing door shoes, and replacing door jambs and thresholds, the mean exposure to employees during thirteen sampling events was 3.7 μg/m³.  In the same study, door and window removal and replacement activities yielded similar results in which the mean exposure for three sampling events was 4.5 μg/m³ and six sampling events was 5.8 μg/m³, respectively.  Additionally, the study looked at ceiling renovation activities for eight sampling events with a mean exposure of 10.6 μg/m³.  In yet another study (Reames et al. 2001) that looked at residential lead hazard reduction work on homes built prior to 1950, exposure to employees during fourteen sampling events was 10.2 μg/m³.  This study also looked at cleaning activities, which resulted in a mean exposure of 6.5 μg/m³ for 25 sampling events. Moreover, the Reames study looked at interior tasks consisting of scraping, wet sanding and a combination of wet sanding and scraping of building components.  The mean results of the latter group of tests of air monitoring resulted in exposures of 19 sampling events at 7.7 μg/m³, 14 sampling events at 1.0 μg/m³, and 7 sampling events at 1.0 μg/m³, respectively.  When moving from interior to exterior activities, Reames reported that sixty-four scraping events resulted in a mean exposure of 5.1 μg/m³ and five wet sanding and scraping events resulted in a mean exposure of 1.0 μg/m³.[203]

NAHB pointed out that, subsequent to the Interim Final Lead in Construction Rule, one study conducted by Battelle looked at the blood lead levels of 581 remodelers.[204]  According to the study, "the results of this study indicated there was little evidence of elevated blood-lead concentrations among the employees."  The study included employees in cities with a documented lead problem who were conducting a significant amount of work in older buildings.  In fact, the study was weighted toward highly exposed general renovation and remodeling employees. Nevertheless, only seven employees out of 581 had a blood-lead concentration greater than 25 µg/dL, and only one employee out of 581 had a blood-lead concentration greater than the action level of 40 μg/dL.  From the study; "To place the results of the Phase II: Employee Characterization and Blood-Lead Study into perspective, the geometric mean blood-lead concentrations of non-Hispanic White and Black employees aged 20-49 were compared to national averages reported in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), the difference in geometric mean blood-lead concentration between renovation and remodeling employees and the general population was 0.4 μg/dL for non-Hispanic Whites and 1.1 μg/dL for non-Hispanic Blacks".  Lastly, Phase IV of the Battelle study aimed at employees with the highest likelihood of exposure performing renovation and remodeling in historic homes. There were 243 participants and only 3 employees exceeded 40 μg/dL.  This represents a worst case scenario.

The N.Y. City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stated that the majority of elevated BLL reported to it are construction employees exposed while working on painted steel structures (abrasive blasters, ironemployees, painters, and laborers). Between 1997 and 2004, 2,429 cases of BLL 25 µg/dL or greater were reported; 79.5 percent were occupational exposures. For 2003, there were 242 cases, 225 of which were occupational; 194 of those were construction employees. Of those, 127 cases were bridge employees (about 65 percent of the construction employees), and 67 were other construction activities. NYC estimated that there are 2,500 bridge employees employed to work on steel structures in the City.

26. Are there additional studies that address the short-term and long-term health effects of intermittent and/or continuing exposures to lead?

NIOSH stated that the NIOSH ABLES program began development of draft medical management guidelines in 2000, based on current scientific information, to assist in the medical management of lead-exposed adults. The draft includes an extensive review of the toxicology of lead. In 2003, the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC), in conjunction with NIOSH and National Center for Environmental Health, conducted an external review by a panel of lead experts of the draft guidelines. NIOSH will forward a copy to OSHA when the review is finished, and suggests that OSHA refer to this document for data that addresses the short-term and long-term health effects of intermittent and continuing exposures to lead. BCTD also referred OSHA to the forthcoming AOEC guidelines.

NYC cited studies of adverse health effects below 50 µg/dL, including hypertension, renal disease, reproductive effects, and constitutional symptoms. In addition, lead may be a carcinogen. NYC noted that CDC set the target BLL at 25 µg/dL. The AOEC has recommended a level of 20 µg/dL for medical removal for lead exposed employees. NYC noted that AOEC recommended medical removal for employees with average BLLs 10 µg/dL or greater over 6 months. NYC stated that it had identified cases with BLLs between 24 and 40 µg/dL that experienced tiredness, tremors, stomach pain, weakness, malaise, intermittent numbness and dizziness, metallic taste in mouth, and others.

NYSOHCN stated that there are many current case studies and peer review articles related to short and long-term health effects that, at the very least, emphasize the importance of the provisions of the standard, if not call out for more stringent requirements and more effective enforcement of the current standard.

1. Symptoms of lead intoxication can occur at levels < 40 µg/dL.  The potential contribution of lead body burden or increased individual susceptibility has not been thoroughly researched nor addressed in the current standard.

A case report by Szeinuk et al. reviews the case of a construction employee with severe clinical manifestations of lead intoxication that persisted even after the patient's BLL was below the level designated for medical removal under the current construction lead standard (50 µg/dL).[205] At the time of the initial exam, the employee's BLL was 57 µg/dL. Though the employee's initial BLL was just above the medical removal protection level (50 µg/dL), he had multiple severe and dramatic symptoms including colic and severe depression that persisted even after his BLL was < 40 µg/dL.  The authors of the article suggest that the persistence and severity of the symptoms may have been due to an elevated susceptibility to the toxic effects of lead, and the result of endogenous lead exposure due to turnover from bone to bloodstream in a chronically (long-term) lead-exposed employee. Since many construction employees have long histories of working on lead-related projects dating back three or even four decades, many of them have lead body burdens that may potentially increase the effects of subsequent exposures.  Lead body burden cannot be determined by blood lead testing.

2. Two recent articles illustrate the deleterious effects of lead at levels significantly lower than current public health guidelines levels. Canfield et al. reported an inverse relationship between BLL concentrations and IQ scores for children less then five years old having a BLL <10 µg/dL.[206]  Steven and Jessie Rothenberg, in an article on the effects of BLL on IQ scores using previously published data, affirmed the benefits of reducing BLLs below the goals of the Public Health Service (25 µg/dL).[207]  Using an international pooled data set, they found good evidence that reduced IQ scores in children and elevated blood pressure in adults occur at levels <10 µg/dL.  The authors state that there does not seem to be any evidence to support a threshold model and that there did not appear to be a no-effect lower limit.  The statistical analysis found that there could be significant economic and health benefits gained from reducing BLLs below currently accepted public health goals.

In their recent policy statement, Lead Exposure in Children, The American Academy of Pediatrics, discussing the reversibility of decreased cognitive test scores caused by blood lead, found that "there remains no evidence that chelation will reverse cognitive impairment."

3. In light of this recent evidence regarding the effects of lead at levels < 10 µg/dL and the potential damage to children, OSHA should
  • Review the protective clothing change out schedule regarding the airborne lead levels required to initiate the use of showers and protective clothing.
  • Review the potential economic benefits resulting from decreased blood pressure, projected by the Rothenbergs.
The protective clothing provisions of the standard were included to prevent employees from transporting lead home to their families.  Under the current provisions, employees exposed to lead levels exceeding the PEL (50 µg/m³) must be provided showers if feasible and protective work clothing on a weekly basis.  If the 8-hr TWA exceeds 200 µg/m³, protective clothing must be provided on a daily basis.  These provisions, which speak to the possibility of take home lead exposure, should be reexamined in light of the new evidence regarding the effects of BLL < 10 µg/dL.

27. Are current monitoring, respirator, engineering controls, and medical surveillance requirements protecting employees from lead exposures?

NIOSH reported that a NIOSH supported study by Levin et al. compared BLLs for ironemployees involved in a multi-year bridge rehabilitation project both before and after implementation of the 1993 OSHA standard. The authors reported that baseline and maximum BLLs, as well as maximum increments (the difference between an individual's minimum and maximum BLL) in blood lead concentrations fell significantly after implementation of the standard. Another study providing some information in response to this question is the NIOSH sponsored demonstration project called the Connecticut Road Industry Surveillance Project (CRISP) work.

CRISP evaluated exposures at 33 bridge projects (1991-1995) involving approximately 2,000 employees. CRISP investigators worked with the Connecticut Departments of Health Services and Transportation along with state contractor and labor groups to establish specifications and pass-through cost provisions that mandate the development and implementation of a site-specific lead program. By including the program in the contract specifications, it became a requirement and was not subject to underbidding. One requirement for contractors was soliciting at least 3 bids from industrial hygiene firms for on-site monitoring. The state transportation department then selected and paid the firm as a subcontractor on the job. In addition, a centralized system located at the state health department was used to manage blood lead and medical monitoring data. The specifications included provisions that paralleled the OSHA standard, including biological monitoring, hygiene facilities, employee training, work practices, and respiratory protection. The investigators indicated that the specifications ensured compliance with all relevant OSHA regulations. Some specifications exceeded 29 CFR 1926.62; for example, the use of a phased reduction in medical removal levels over time from 40 µg/dL to 35 µg/dl to 30 µg/dI, and the use of specific work practice provisions, such as requiring abrasives associated with the generation of lower exposures. The investigators compared the CRISP BLLs with non-Connecticut bridge employees and found significantly lower peak BLLs (P<0.00l) among CRISP employees. CRISP painter/blasters had median BLLs of 17 µg/dL, compared with 34 µg/dL for non-Connecticut painter/blasters; CRISP iron employees had median BLLs of 9 µg/dL, compared with 12 µg/dL for non-Connecticut iron employees. More than 99 percent of the CRISP employees maintained BLLs below 50 µg/dL, and BLLs decreased over the term of the project. While the comparison group would also have been expected to be covered by the OSHA Lead in Construction standard, Vork et al. stated that higher BLLs in the non-Connecticut group might have been due to the lack of implementation of OSHA employee protection provisions; the extent of OSHA compliance or industrial hygiene oversight among the non-Connecticut group was unknown.[208]

Vork subsequently characterized the sources and pathways of airborne lead exposure during bridgework, developed an exploratory model, and applied the model toward an analysis of data collected during CRISP. The characteristics of bridgework that generate airborne lead, the components of CRISP, and a mass balance bio-kinetic model were incorporated into a lead-flow simulation model named CONstruction Lead Intake Simulation (CONLIS), to derive lead dose from both environmental and biological measurements. Software was tested, validated, and developed to run the model and to systematically explore the influences on lead intake among employees from exposure prevention techniques used during abrasive blasting activities. This investigation indicated a 100-fold preventive effect due to the CRISP lead health protection program previously described. The model also was used to establish and to test a simplified predictive model and to simulate potential exposure conditions for planning programs and managing exposure. CONLIS provides the structure for estimating lead dose under a broad range of exposure and control scenarios, and could have potential applications for effectively protecting employees when used in conjunction with industrial hygiene and medical monitoring.

NIOSH studies have shown that lead contamination is being carried from construction sites on employees and their clothing even when exposures are below the PEL.

Significant correlations for surface concentrations of lead between employees' hands and their cars, and between their cars and their homes, have demonstrated the pathway for lead contamination between the workplace, employee, car, and home. Based on these new studies, OSHA may wish to evaluate the adequacy of the PEL as the trigger for required hygiene measures specifically intended to prevent lead from leaving the workplace (e.g., employer-laundered work clothing and change shower facilities). The hygiene provisions of the current standard are only required for employees with airborne lead exposures exceeding the PEL of 50 µg/m3.

Airborne lead exposures exceeding the PEL of 50 µg/m3 may not be as reliable a measure of the potential for lead-contaminated skin and clothing when compared to approaches that supplement air sampling with surface sampling information. NIOSH researchers found that employees with low air exposures have the highest levels of lead contamination in their cars when working at a construction site where the hygiene provisions were required only for employees with high exposures to airborne lead. Study findings further indicated that while the proximity and time spent by employees near lead sources did not necessarily result in high air exposures, employee activities alone may still result in lead deposition onto clothes and skin from contact with contaminated surfaces or dust settling. Therefore, airborne lead exposure alone is not sufficient for determining the potential for lead-contaminated clothing and skin and the need for hygiene provisions at construction sites. The availability of new, inexpensive surface sampling methods can provide alternative trigger mechanisms and options to improve the targeting of hygiene measures.

NIOSH researchers also reported that construction employees do not always use protective clothing and shower change facilities, even if provided by their employer. These findings suggest that more effective interventions, including education and enforcement, may be needed to prevent lead from leaving worksites. The availability of inexpensive surface sampling methods can also be used as part of education efforts to provide feedback to employees about the need to use hygiene provisions.

The consequences of lead contamination found in construction employees' homes and resultant exposures among their families can be significant. A NIOSH study reported that the children of lead-exposed construction employees were six times more likely to have a BLL of 10 µg/dl or greater than were children of neighbors who were not occupationally exposed to lead. The correlation of BLLs with surface concentrations of lead measured in cars and homes is consistent with dust lead contamination from construction sites being the major exposure pathway.

BCTD stated that the standard is not protective enough. (See other BCTD comments.)

TIC stated that its work practices keep employee lead exposures below the action level as shown by the personal air monitoring and biological monitoring results. ESC stated that current controls were protecting employees.

LEHA stated that the use of lead-safe work practices as an engineering control is an effective method of reducing employee exposure below the action level.  However, the current monitoring, respirator, and medical surveillance requirements are not being followed by the majority of small contractors working on routine remodeling and renovation projects.

ORC stated that OSHA should eliminate the requirement that ZPP level sampling be done, at least in initial medical surveillance. A recent study indicates that "...the considerable individual variability of ZPP, poor sensitivity at lower ranges of lead exposure, poor specificity and delayed changes in unstable exposure conditions indicate that this test contributes little to screening programs."[209]

NAHB stated that none of the controls has ever been shown to be effective to protect employees from illness due to lead exposure in the residential construction industry.

NYC stated that current OSHA requirements do not ensure frequent enough biological monitoring (BLL and ZPP) to reflect the fluctuation in exposure levels expected during the course of a construction project.  Conditions on construction sites are highly variable, and lead exposure during some high risk tasks (e.g., paint removal and demolition) can cause BLLs to rise quickly.  When high level exposures take place during the testing intervals, more seriously elevated BLLs may not be detected, delaying medical intervention and allowing continued lead exposure. Infrequent monitoring also makes it more difficult to respond to elevated BLLs as conditions contributing to the overexposure may no longer exist on dynamic construction sites.

Contractors complying with OSHA's current biological, monitoring frequency requirements still have a difficult time preventing or reducing elevated BLLs.  For instance, one bridge contractor conducted initial blood lead at the start of a lead-removal job, finding no cases above 25 µg/dL among the eleven employees.  However, testing repeated two months later showed eight (72 percent) of the employees with BLLs >40 µg/dL, five with BLLs above 50 µg/dL, and one employee with a BLL reaching 90 µg/dL. More frequent BLL monitoring could have triggered an earlier intervention and may have prevented these very high BLL levels (and attendant lead poisoning symptoms) from developing,

Based on this and similar situations, NYC recommended that OSHA require that biological monitoring be conducted on a monthly basis.  Additionally, OSHA should require that employers take action in response to increasing BLLs.  Employers should be required to conduct industrial hygiene investigations whenever BLLs for two or more employees reach 25 µg/dL or greater, or whenever an individual's BLL increases l0 µg/dL between consecutive monthly tests.  The investigation should be conducted by an industrial hygienist or lead competent person.  This intervention provision would require employers to make a timely and systematic assessment of work practices and controls that may have contributed to increased exposures.  NYC DOT has already incorporated requirements for both monthly testing and intervention into their lead-paint removal specifications.

NYSOHCN stated the following:

1. Though the current Lead in Construction standard, when used consistently, can reduce exposure levels, there are still a significant number of lead intoxicated employees reported to state lead registries.

Studies have shown that when and if they are correctly and faithfully implemented, the provisions of the standard have been effective in reducing employee blood lead levels.  In their article published a few years after the promulgation of the lead standard, Levin et al. documented the effectiveness of the lead standard.  During the study period of approximately 2 years, the authors evaluated the effectiveness of the provisions of the standard in reducing BLLs in a group of employees engaged in infrastructure repair work on a major cross river bridge in a large metropolitan area. The article points out that in 1993, just prior to the full implementation of the standard, 66 percent of the baseline BLLs were below 20 µg/dL and in 1994 after the implementation of the standard, 78 percent of the employees' baseline BLLs were below 20 µg/dL.

While it is true that if the standard is fully and conscientiously implemented it can reduce employee exposure levels, data gathered from the NYS Heavy Metal Registry indicate that there has not been a significant drop in the number of construction employees (SIC codes 15,16, 17) with reported BLLs > 40 since the promulgation of the standard (Appendix B, Table 1).  Starting in 1993, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) required all BLL testing results be reported to the NYS Heavy Metal Registry.  Since 1994, the number of employees with BLLs > 40 µg/dL has ranged from 50-107, mean 85. For the most recent complete reporting year 2004, 84 employees were reported with a BLL > 40 µg/dL.  Case report 2 is emblematic of a failure to follow the provisions of the standard and the consequences for the employee.  In this case as in many other instances, the problem came to light only because of the medical surveillance provisions of the standard.[210]  A more rigorous medical surveillance schedule would have found the problem earlier. In this incident:
  • Air monitoring was not conducted even though the process had been altered (e.g., the introduction of the grinder, confined space and overhead work);
  • Engineering controls were not employed;
  • Proper housekeeping and hygiene practices were not practiced; and
  • Training was inadequate.
2. A more rigorous enforcement of the provisions of the standard is needed.

The level of implementation varies widely throughout the construction industry. Many contractors, based on their pragmatic approach to work, are aware that it is unlikely that they will ever be discovered. Furthermore, they realize that it is even less likely that they will be punished severely enough to make it an economic or legal imperative that they follow the provisions of the standard.  A more rigorous enforcement of the provisions of the standard would have as pronounced an influence as any change to the standard.

OSHA is pleased to see that the better longitudinal studies, such as the NIOSH and CRISP studies discussed at the beginning of this chapter, show that the Lead in Construction standard is working to reduce employee blood lead exposures.

There is some dispute on the impact of lead exposures on residential painters. There is no doubt that their airborne exposures can be high. (See Tables 2-1 to 2-3 in chapter 2 for examples.) However, one study, the EPA/Batelle study, indicated that, though residential painters were exposed to high airborne levels, their blood leads were low. Nevertheless, data in ABLES and, specifically, the Massachusetts data under question 9 above, show residential painters continue to have high blood lead levels. Congress directed OSHA to issue the standard, and OSHA is required to resolve scientific disputes on the side of employee protection. There is not a health basis to eliminate the standard's coverage for residential painters exposed to lead.   

Compliance Assistance

28. Is there additional compliance assistance or outreach that OSHA should provide to help employers and employees understand and comply with the standard?

NIOSH stated that information about compliance assistance can be more widely disseminated if it is provided in Spanish. The percentage of Hispanic employees in the U.S. labor force is projected to increase from 10.9 percent in 2000, to 13.3 percent by 2010.

In 2000, 15 percent of construction employees were Hispanic, most of them non-citizens. Because of language barriers, undocumented status, and cost, Hispanic employees, especially recent immigrants, are less likely to receive PPE and safety training. Many Hispanic construction employees are employed in home remodeling. The lack of PPE and safety training makes Hispanic employees more vulnerable to lead exposure during residential construction and remodeling. For example, Hispanic employees are overrepresented in BLL registries in Massachusetts and California.

The following NIOSH standardized field-portable sampling and analytical methods (qualitative and quantitative) have been developed and evaluated for their use in detecting and measuring lead in the field and are applicable to lead in construction. Because they are field-portable, outreach and training with these methods may help employers comply with the standard and better protect lead-exposed employees.
  • NIOSH 7700, Lead in Air by Chemical Spot Test Kit (Qualitative)
  • NIOSH 7701, Lead in Air by Portable Anodic Stripping Voltammetry (Quantitative)
  • NIOSH 7702, Lead in Air by Portable X-Ray Fluorescence (Quantitative)
  • NIOSH 9100, Lead in Surface Wipe Samples (Quantitative)
  • NIOSH 9105, Lead in Dust Wipes by Colorimetric Spot Test (Qualitative)
BCTD stated that OSHA's materials were adequate. TIC stated that the Federal standard and appendix are clearly written. LEHA urged the development of standardized Lead-Safe R&R / O&M practices for activities that involves lead, updates to existing training curriculums to train contractors, and increased, publicized monitoring of contractors for compliance.  This will support other related concerns of 29 CFR 1926.62 that kick in such as medical monitoring, training, use of safe work practices, engineering controls, PPE, employee hygiene practices, housekeeping, etc., that can exacerbate costs and prevent making the housing R&R / O&M players violators of the standard in the eyes of OSHA.

NAHB stated that OSHA should give careful consideration to developing and providing outreach, education, and training materials (i.e., handbooks, videos, and training seminars/courses) that address and integrate the requirements from OSHA, HUD, and EPA lead regulations.  OSHA should work with EPA and HUD to coordinate training programs that ensure consistency of each of the agency's rules.  Streamlining the training requirements would be very beneficial to small businesses in the construction industry and help protect employees who may be exposed to lead.

NYC suggested development of checklists and assessment guidelines that would recommend refresher training, increased training, review of maintenance programs, and targeted sampling. NYC also noted that many elevated BLLs are among employees with limited English. Employers should be required to provide training and notification in the employees' languages. NYC also recommended development of a management tool that provides step-by-step instruction on managing lead exposures. Task-specific and equipment-specific information is needed. Targeted outreach to employees should be conducted. OSHA should also better promote services of consultation offices.

NYSOHCN said it would be helpful if OSHA would provide how-to program management information and organize existing information so that contractors can access the information they need to run their Health and Safety control programs.

1. Construction managers do not have the time to become experts in health and safety; they need hands on, how-to information.

Contractors in the construction industry are for the most part concentrating on productivity and engineering details.  The effectiveness of lead control programs in construction is often compromised by a failure to plan, manage, and integrate controls.

The existence of a written health and safety program is no guarantee of success.  The programs required by the standard are both costly and time consuming to the contractor or facility owner.  It is not uncommon that even with the best of intentions the money and time devoted to lead control programs may be wasted due to a lack of adequate planning, coordination, and day-to-day management of these programs.

In their study of engineering and work practice controls at several infrastructure repair and rehabilitation projects, Goldberg et al. found that implementation of the provisions of the standard were limited by managerial shortfalls and an inability to provide timely interventions.[211]  Very often, management of these critical programs falls to the most junior administrator or engineer on the site.  In many cases engineering controls, administrative controls, and respirator programs are afterthoughts in the planning process.  For example, on one site, the paint remediation team cleaned an eight-inch wide vertical strip, 4 inches either side of the intended cut line.  Unfortunately, due to the constraints of lifting up heavy steel beams, the ironemployees were forced to cut on a diagonal thereby overriding the safety net provided by the remediated 4-inch clean strip.  As a result of their experience, a series of guides were developed to help managers, construction supervisors, and health and safety professionals better manage their control programs.  The guides provide step-by-step instructions on the day-to-day management of Lead and Silica control programs.  A set of Guides for Managing Lead and Silica Control Programs has been forwarded to OSHA Docket office under docket No. HO23.

OSHA will review its compliance assistance materials and outreach for lead exposures to both employers and employees in construction, and OSHA will determine the need for updates. OSHA will review the need to make these assistance materials available in Spanish and other relevant languages; most commenters recommended this.

2. OSHA web accessible information should be made more user friendly.  Even a trained health and safety professional can have difficulty locating all of the information necessary to run an effective and up-to-date program.

For example:
  • Information included in compliance directives should be made readily available to assist the field level health and safety professional.  Currently, under compliance directive CPL 2-2.58-29 CFR 1926.62, OSHA uses the old HUD clearance level of 200 µg/ft² for clean areas such as changing rooms, eating/drinking and break areas.  Has this been changed to comply with the new HUD clearance level of 40 µg/ft² for floors?
  • Information included under OSHA interpretations, such as fit factors for different types of respirators, should be made more accessible to the contractor and health and safety professional.  Certain models of powered air purifying respirators and helmets as a result of an OSHA letter of interpretation factor have been assigned a fit factor different than the current designation in Table 1 (Respiratory Protection for Lead Aerosols).
  • It has been our experience that employees may not be aware of the medical removal protection provision of the standard, as illustrated by the disastrous outcome for the affected employees in case report 2 (none of them have received medical removal protection benefits).  OSHA may want to consider including a BLL results form that includes information regarding benefits of MRP.
OSHA believes it has an excellent Web page which provides employers and employees with easy access to information; OSHA has won awards for its Web page. However, OSHA will review its web access to lead related materials and guidance, and OSHA will make improvements, if necessary.

Other comments

HUD supports the LIC standard because protecting employees has the secondary benefit of protecting occupants including children. The work practices serve to prevent lead dust and its spread to occupants, the environment, and employees' homes, where children could be exposed. HUD stated that the cost of employee protection can be balanced against the societal costs of childhood lead poisoning. HUD cited the 2000 report of the President's Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children. Eliminating Childhood Lead Poisoning that the benefit of eliminating LBP hazards through interim controls produced net benefits of $8.9 billion at a 3 percent discount rate and $1.2 billion at a 7 percent discount rate.[212]

The CA Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program stated the following:
  • Significant lead exposures continue to occur in the construction industry.
  • There have been substantial gains in knowledge of the health issues associated with lead exposure, causing increased concern for those with acute as well as chronic, lower-level exposures.
  • Construction contractors can generally comply with the LIC standard and still run asuccessful business (with the possible exception of small contractors complying with the air monitoring requirement).
  • There are areas where additional employee protections are needed.
BCTD stated that OSHA's current requirements for biological monitoring are lacking in that no exit blood lead test is required and the frequency for periodic BLL tests is too sparse to protect those employees on short duration projects with very high and/or intermittent exposures. CPWR's Model Specifications for the Protection of Employees from Lead on Steel Structuresprovide valuable guidance on biological monitoring and other lead health and safety programs on which OSHA should draw in crafting regulations that are practical and adequately protective. Another problematic element of the OSHA Lead standard is the use of an airborne concentration of 30 µg/m³ to trigger many requirements of the standard.  The availability of sanitation facilities in construction whenever there is a risk of exposure to lead would significantly reduce the risk of lead exposure through ingestion and of carrying lead offsite into the homes of employees where family members may also be exposed.  Soap and fresh water should, therefore, be explicitly required by OSHA regardless of airborne lead concentrations.

BCTD stated that OSHA should seriously address the content and quality of training for employees exposed to lead.  While EPA has promulgated minimum curriculum requirements for some sectors, its regulations only currently reach a small portion of construction employees: those exposed to LBP in housing and child-occupied facilities. Moreover, EPA's minimum curricula presume that there are additional OSHA requirements, and specifically do not address areas that the agency believed would be covered under the OSHA standard.  The unfortunate reality is that where training duration is not specified and quality assurance is lacking, few employees are likely to receive the kind of training that will have a positive impact on reducing their exposures.

BCTD noted that the construction industry has had twelve years to adapt to the requirements of the lead standard.  A number of federal agencies, such as NIOSH and the FHWA, have further assisted in researching the cost and feasibility of technologies and approaches to minimizing lead exposure.  Such research should continue.  OSHA should strengthen the lead standard and serve as a catalyst for greater use and development of technologies aimed at protecting the health of the millions of employees employed in construction.

BCTD recommended the following:
  1. The permissible exposure limit, action level, and medical removal protection BLLs should be lowered to achieve reduction in occupational blood lead levels to equal or below 25 µg/dL.
  2. Medical Removal Protection should be required when an employee's BLL exceeds 30 µg/dL.  Medical surveillance requirements should be amended to require:
    • Initial baseline monitoring upon hire or start of job;
    • Monthly, thereafter;
    • Exit testing when the job is completed or when an employee is terminated.
    In addition, an increase of 10 µg/dL or greater from one test to another should trigger a worksite evaluation by the employer to identify problem areas and implement appropriate control measures that effectively reduce BLLs to less than 25 µg/dL.
  3. Hygiene facilities, including hand-washing stations with soap and fresh water, and clean eating areas, should be provided when lead is present regardless of airborne lead concentrations.  Use of HEPA vacuums for removal of lead dust from work clothing should be required before leaving the worksite.
  4. If exposures exceed the PEL, paragraphs (g), (h), and (i) should be fully enforced.
  5. Wipe sampling, in accordance with NIOSH method 0700, should be required to assess potential contamination in areas that should be free of contamination. Clean areas, such as change rooms and eating areas must not exceed 200 micrograms of lead per square feet of surface area.  Surfaces with lead contamination in excess of these criteria must be cleaned by HEPA vacuuming followed by wet wiping.
  6. While interim respiratory protection should be required as currently mandated for high exposure tasks, OSHA should emphasize in its regulations and enforcement policy that respiratory protection is an interim and secondary means of controlling lead and that engineering controls must be used as the primary method of control.  Exposure assessment requirements should emphasize the importance ofair monitoring to verify the effectiveness of engineering controls andrequire remedial action in the event exposures are not adequately controlled to below the PEL.  At a minimum, OSHA should require:

    32 hours, including hands-on training; instruction on topics currently required aswell as on "take-home" lead hazards, and other hazards such as silica, cadmium, i.e., metals common to lead; and training on the explicit requirements of 29 CFR1926.33. Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records.
  7. OSHA should clearly specify duration, content and quality assurance for training requirements.  OSHAshould consult with EPA in formulating training requirements that are complementary and adequately protective.
  8. OSHA should use CPWR's Model Specifications for the Protection of Employees from Lead on Steel Structures as guidance when considering modifications to the lead in construction standard. While there are currently no Federal standards for lead in surface dust, HUD sets a clearance level of 200 µg/ft2 for floors.  OSHA Compliance Directive CPL 2-2.58 - 29 CFR1926.62, Lead Exposure in Construction (1993) uses this criterion for determining whether an employer has maintained surfaces free of contamination.
  9. OSHAshould consult with NIOSH and, specifically, request that NIOSH do an assessment of BLLs from 37ABLES states to determine trends:
    • Over time
    • By geographical distribution
    • By trade and specialty areas within construction
SBA and the National Federation of Independent Business Legal Foundation (NFIBLF) stated that OSHA should be mindful that EPA is proposed its residential renovation and remodeling rule on January 10, 2006 (71 FR 1588). EPA's rule relies on paint testing and lead-safe work practices to minimize exposures to lead hazards, with de minimis exemptions for small-scale tasks.  On June 5, 2007 EPA supplemented the proposed rule to include child-occupied facilities. Such an approach may be feasible for OSHA as well.  Further, OSHA might consider whether other approaches would be practicable in light of EPA's forthcoming rule, such as de minimis exemptions for time-limited tasks, specialty contractor exemptions (e.g., for plumbers or electricians), simplified medical surveillance and recordkeeping requirements, and reliance on lead-safe work practices where data show that such work practices are unlikely to exceed permissible exposure limit.

NFIBLF stated that in evaluating whether alternative, less burdensome approaches to the current interim final standard are feasible, OSHA should also evaluate the quality of data and other technical information used to justify the rule.  This rule was adopted without fully considering exposure data for specific residential construction and remodeling activities. This has been problematic for two reasons. First, it applies to residential structures where no LBP is present. The Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the use of LBP in homes in 1977, which means there has been no lead-based paint in homes or apartments build after 1978. Second, there were limited data available to support the applicability of a lead standard to the construction industry when the standard was adopted.

Based on the collective experience of contractors, environmental firms, lead-poisoning prevention program management, and community based groups active in funding and performing lead hazard reduction activities, LEHA urges the revision of the regulation to recognize the effectiveness of lead-safe work practices as an effective engineering control, and to exclude residential renovation and rehabilitation projects from the list of trigger activities requiring personal air monitoring and respiratory protection.

LEHA believes that the lack of enforcement has created an environment where lead regulations are routinely ignored and has reduced the effectiveness of lead-safe work practice trainings by creating significant barriers to compliance.  These barriers include the cost of air monitoring and respirator programs. LEHA supports a requirement that contractors and employees who deal with any painted or coated surface receive annual blood lead testing.

BCTD urged OSHA to strengthen the standard. In NJ, construction employees represented the largest number of cases reported over an 11 year period (1986-1996). For a 15-year period (1986-2000), 1,238 employees had BLLs above 40.

ORC believes that OSHA should examine the feasibility of developing a well-defined task-based approach that recognizes low risk activities.  The most current HUD Guidelines define "low risk" versus "high risk" tasks and associated employee protection and work practice recommendations.  While recognizing that HUD Guidelines are developed under different legislative parameters than OSHA rules, ORC believes the HUD approach to "low risk" tasks is one that OSHA could consider within the parameters of the OSH Act. ORC recognizes that the connection between lead concentration in paints and coatings and adverse health effects from exposures resulting from disturbance of such materials is dependent on many factors such as task, duration, setting, and level of lead in the substrate.  In the Interim Final Rule, OSHA identified 12 categories of work activities and established exposure control requirements for each based on anticipated full shift exposure ranges.  However, it may be possible for OSHA to develop a matrix of requirements recognizing the use of the administrative control of limiting task duration.  An example of such a task-specific exposure control strategy can be found in the American Industrial Hygiene Association's Inorganic Lead Guidance Document.[213]  This approach can be applied to each of the 12 identified OSHA tasks.

ORC stated that OSHA implied in the preamble discussion that it believed that the burden imposed by issuing possibly overly protective standards would be minimal, stating that: "in any event, once the monitoring results are received, if they show air lead levels to be lower than presumed, the presumed level of protection need no longer be provided." However, one large company reports a two to three fold increase in the cost of a typical non-scheduled maintenance activity because of requirements that do not, in many cases, seem necessary for employee protection. This burden does not appear to be offset by increases in levels of employee protection, as it appears, based on available information, that employees can perform certain activities without controls and remain below acceptable exposure levels.  For example, one company has developed preliminary information that indicates extremely low exposures for certain limited activities performed on walls (wallboard, wood, and plaster) coated with a wide range of substrate lead concentrations. This information also suggests that graduated levels of controls can be established which would result in both reduced burden to the regulated community and be adequately protective of employees.  This extension of OSHA's task-based approach would result in increased compliance and a corresponding increase in employee protection.  OSHA's 29 CFR 1926.62(d)(2) task-based provisions, as well as the approach provided under the asbestos regulations, are tacit acknowledgement, if not outright endorsement of the concept of requirements tied to exposures associated with different tasks.

ORC notes that the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has encouraged OSHA to determine a minimum trigger level or threshold level of lead in substrate materials that could be used in evaluating coverage under the rule.  Preliminary data collected by some member companies suggests that it may indeed be possible to establish such a threshold level that, as AIHA indicates, would be protective of employees in all scenarios.  ORC believes that this is a concept worth exploring and agrees with AIHA that such a minimum threshold level would help significantly to reduce the burden of compliance, particularly on small business owners.

PHCC suggested that OSHA consider exempting specialty contractors. They noted that LBP was banned in 1978 and lead solder and piping in 1988. They also stated that one training course should meet the requirements of OSHA, HUD, and EPA.

The National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA) recommended the following:
  • Tiered compliance levels, aimed at differing levels of construction activities and their potential to generate lead exposures. This would simplify requirements and reinforce the value of work practice controls established for occupant protection.
  • Coordinated training with HUD and EPA programs.
NPCA noted that LBP is defined by statute  as paint that contains more than 0.5 percent lead (by weight) or by XRF measurements that show a presence of 1.0 mg/sq. ft. or more. HUD defines de minimis amounts of deteriorated paint or paint to be disturbed by workers where the workers do not have to follow lead safe work practices.  When LBP is present, and is intact (i.e., not deteriorated) or when deterioration fails to affect more than 10 percent of the surface of small components, or overall less than 2 square feet per room, then certain occupancy protection requirements would not apply. EPA has a similar de minimis exemption.   NPCA stated that employees engaged in R&R may be exposed to lead. This is particularly true of painters who have to disturb significant amounts of LBP or who are working with already deteriorated LBP. NCPA said it is reasonable to assume that HUD LSWP are sufficient to address employee exposure.  For OSHA to require an initial determination for each job where LSWP are used is a waste of resources. OSHA should provide regulatory relief that will reinforce the need for training on and compliance use of LSWP.

NCPA recommended that OSHA track EPA and HUD and assume LBP is present in any pre-1978 home unless test data show otherwise. OSHA should require LSWP in these homes to demonstrate compliance with OSHA. OSHA should consider the qualified endorsement of reliable direct reading (colorimetric) test methods for the presence of lead on painted surfaces.

PR OSHA and a lead abatement firm (Aspen Environmental Ex. 3-3) suggested that firms awarded lead abatement projects should submit pre-job plans. The firm stated that the submittals should be pre and post work and include training, monitoring results, and baseline blood levels.

Another abatement firm (United Coatings, Ex. 3-4) stated that OSHA should ensure that an abatement license is applicable in all states so firms did not need to obtain separate licenses in each state. This firm (United Coatings, Ex. 3-4) also supported the standard. It stated that the respiratory protection factors of different respirators should be equal. The decontamination requirements should elevate to showers when certain mechanical LBP remediations occur (e.g., abrasive blasting). The firm recommended that training cover lead and cadmium.

The National Abatement Technology Center provided detailed recommendations for changes to the standard.
  • OSHA should lower the PEL to 30 µg/m³ and eliminate the action level.
  • If exposures are above the PEL, exposure assessments should be monthly.
  • The written program should be revised and updated after each job or every month, whichever comes first. Lead work should be supervised by a competent person.
  • Employers should do face fit test at the initial fitting and at least once a year.
  • Employers should provide protective clothing daily to employees exposed above the PEL.
  • Handwashing facilities should be next to the work area.
  • Medical exams should occur annually if BLL is at or above 25 µg/dL; as soon as possible if lead poisoning symptoms occur; and as medically appropriate for employees under medical removal or limitation.
  • Medical removal should occur for BLLs at or above 30 µg/dL.
  • The training requirements should be revised to ensure that all employees are trained annually using a curriculum similar to EPA's training for lead abatement employees. Training shall include hands-on training in work practices and take at least 24 hours.
  • Competent person's duties should be described better and include on-site supervision of work practices and controls, enforcement of hygiene requirements. Training should be consistent with EPA's certified supervisor course.
One commenter (B. Olhiser, Ex. 3-6) stated that compliance was generally good for industrial structures and poor at best for residential. The commenter stated that, in his view, air monitoring requirements are arcane at best, especially considering that the NIOSH 7082 method when done in sandblasting environments is totally unreliable giving wild overestimates of true employee exposures.  According to the commenter, this is well documented in NIOSH's document HHER 94-0122-2578 from Bath Iron Works and also through his own experience.  He said that in his experience (since 1992 on numerous and varied jobs) using trigger task assignments for employee protection is the most effective tool available.  All air monitoring typically verifies is that the right PPE is being used. On industrial projects, the commenter couples Trigger Tasks protections with monthly blood lead monitoring requirements when exposures are 5000µg/m³ or higher and the job will last more than a few days which is often the case.  This approach has given him the best results of anything ever tried and has been successful at keeping BLL's at or below 25 on a project lasting over 3 years with exposures of 50,000 µg/m³.

Based on the commenter's view given above, his recommendations to make the standard more user friendly and less burdensome are:
  • Create de minimis levels tied to the trigger tasks (e.g., Level one, 1926.62(d)(2)(i), tasks need to be done for one hour or more before the standard applies).  He stated that he had done lots of air monitoring of these tasks and never found Action Level (AL) amounts let alone reaching the PEL.  Yet, the commenter contends that school maintenance employees and others are unnecessarily covered for a single window replacement or small paint job. He argued that this mandate serves to trivialize the standard; so, it is ignored by many. The commenter recommended that Level two, 1926.62(d)(2)(ii), tasks would have to be done for two hours and Level one tasks for more than one hour for the standard's requirements to apply. (Note: this commenter is referring to work places where lead is present which require certain protective actions to be taken until exposure monitoring demonstrates that exposures are below the AL.)

  • The ability to cite an employer who has elected to comply with the Trigger Task requirements does not make sense and needs to be removed. This is a real disincentive for compliance to residential firms as these contractors will rarely if ever be able to afford to do air monitoring.  However, they can provide Trigger Tasks protections. Industrial contractors can, and often do, conduct the air monitoring. Yet many of them play games with the data, biasing the results to enhance their production goals.  By simply enforcing the Trigger Task requirements and extending the shower requirements to Trigger Tasks Two and Three, this element is removed.  Making compliance goals much simpler for the user and OSHA as it is hard to cite someone for a serious lack when you have to gather air data to do it.

  • Simplify the training requirements to require training in the full standard for performance of any of the Trigger Task levels.
One commenter suggested mentioning XRFs for analyzing paint (Green Knight Environmental Safety Support Services, Inc., Ex. 3-7). Another (County of Sonoma Facilities Operations, Ex. 3-10) stated that the requirement for employers to do assessments of employee lead exposure in all cases where lead exposure is remotely possible is a burden.  For instance, if an employer is doing demolition of sheetrock for a remodel job, if the measured concentration of lead in the paint is 0.005 percent, it is for all intents and purposes impossible for airborne concentrations of lead dust to approach the action level of 30 μg/ M³ of air. However, the employer is burdened with this requirement unless he can prove that the material is incapable of creating an exposure -- a task beyond the resources of most employers. If OSHA would adopt a more realistic definition for lead-containing paint -- for example, the CPSC definition of 0.06 percent or 600 ppm -- the burden of unnecessary monitoring would be reduced significantly.  In addition to the savings in time and testing, certified technology could be used in place of laboratory analysis to expedite and facilitate rapid and affordable testing: for instance, XRF technology could be used in the field.  By making compliance with the regulation easier and more affordable, OSHA would increase the likelihood that employers would do exposure assessments at those times when the tests would be most definitive about harmful conditions.

A safety director (ASSE of New Jersey, Ex. 3-12) stated that the standard relies too heavily on the use of respiratory protection. Contractors would benefit from better guidance on the use of feasible engineering controls such as the use of vacuums or ventilation systems. The process of issuing respirators, providing medical surveillance and training to employees in construction can be difficult for contractors because many of these employees work for them on a short term basis.  Most contractors simply will not invest the time.

Another firm (Battelle, Ex. 3-11) stated that the standard should reflect the transient nature of the workforce by stressing appropriate technologies for removing the hazard, such as paint removers. Reliance on information such as past "representative" sampling is not helpful given that very few construction jobs are alike.  By providing guidance on effective removal processes, construction companies can focus limited resources on removing the hazard instead of performing monitoring which may or may not help with future lead hazard assessments.

The Alliance for Healthy Homes (AFHH)(accessible at www.afhh.org). stated that compliance is spotty and in many locales, non-existent because the standard is seen as costly and ill suited to employee protection. AFHH made the following recommendations:
  • Discontinue the requirement to test for airborne lead levels for small-scale and residential projects.
  • Require worksite lead dust testing, including clearance testing, as a check on employee exposure.
  • Require employers to pay employees to attend one-day training in lead-safe work practices (numerous courses exist and are available free of charge, e.g., NPCA training).
  • Ensure that contractor and employee training includes participatory techniques and hands-on exercises and promote the use of peer trainers and tailgate training materials.
  • Calibrate the respirator requirement to activity, so that more heavy and less comfortable protective equipment is required when using high dust-generating methods, while lighter protective equipment is required when using low dust-generating methods.
  • Consistent with EPA and HUD, prohibit unsafe practices of paint removal, such as sandblasting, uncontrolled power sanding, and extensive manual dry sanding, in residential settings (24 CFR 35.140 and 40 CFR 745.226(e)).
The National Center for Healthy Housing stated that the standard should be revised to address ingestion hazards. When work is complete, horizontal surfaces need to be clean. NCHH also stated that OSHA's standard should be consistent with EPA's forthcoming rules. For common situations where lead-based paint is disturbed in housing, OSHA should shift away from requiring employers to conduct a general exposure assessment. Instead, it should allow contractors to opt-in to specific work practices that are designed to avoid inhalation and ingestion of lead from lead-based paint. Unsafe practices of paint removal, such as sandblasting, uncontrolled power sanding, and extensive manual dry sanding in residential settings, should be prohibited.  Any contractor who disturbs potential LBP should conduct lead dust wipe testing consistent with EPA requirements at 40 CFR 745.65 to ensure that lead dust does not affect employees using the workspace after the contractor departs.

A commenter (Gobbell Hays Partners, Ex. 3-23) stated that OSHA should exempt residential property built prior to 1978. OSHA should consider exempting certain small operation and maintenance activities. Exemptions could be based on surface area of lead paint, or lead on a surface from a source other than paint, to be disturbed, the surface concentration of lead, type of operations and maintenance activities, and/or duration of activities.  This will require research to determine which activities can be exempted.  The commenter also urged OSHA to consider requiring certain work practices, e.g., drop cloths and wet methods, for small scale (O&M) activities.  If the work practices are followed, then the activities would be exempted.  This will require research to determine which activities would be protective if certain controls are used and under what conditions. In addition, the requirements for when different styles of respirators are worn should be revised to be consistent with more common activities, e.g., dry sanding, worksite clean up, etc.

OSHA should establish training requirements for LBP abatement that are consistent with HUD's.  Currently, HUD requires a 3 day course for LBP abatement supervisors.  OSHA should consider no training requirements for lead paint operation and maintenance activities that require minimal controls.

Currently, the standard applies if any concentration of lead is detected in paint or on a surface.  The standard only references bulk sampling and does not address the use of XRFs.  OSHA should revise the definition of lead paint to include the 0.06 percent concentration defined by CPSC.  Also, OSHA should clearly define what methods (paint chip, bulk, dust, XRF, chemical tests) are and are not acceptable for determining if lead is present.  OSHA should develop a lower limit as a trigger for the standard.  If the surface concentration is below the limit, then certain activities could be exempted.

Acronyms Used in this Chapter


AFHH Alliance for Healthy Homes
AIHA American Industrial Hygiene Association
AOEC Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics
ASA American Subcontractors Association
ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
BCTD Building and Construction Trades Department AFL-CIO
CDHS California Department of Health Services
CLINIC Connecticut Lead Intervention Network in Construction
COC U.S. Chamber of Commerce
CONLIS CONstruction Lead Intake Simulation
CPWR Center to Protect Employees' Rights
CRISP Connecticut Road Industry Surveillance Project
DOE U.S. Department of Energy
DOT U.S. Department of Transportation
EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
ESC EnviroScience Consultants
HUD U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
IUPAT International of Union of Painters and Allied Trades
LEHA Lead and Environmental Hazards Association
LIC Lead in Construction
LSWP Lead safe work practices
MRP Medical removal protection
NAHB National Association of Home Builders
NCHH National Center for Healthy Housing
NFIBLF National Federation of Independent Business Legal Foundation
NHANES National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys
NPCA National Paint and Coatings Association
NYC NY City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
NYSOHCN NY State Occupational Health Clinic Network
PHCC Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association
SBA Small Business Administration
TIC Tank Industry Consultants
TRB Transportation Research Board
XRF X-ray Fluorescence
ZPP Zinc Protoporphyrin

8.1.3 Complexity of the Rule

The rule is not overly complex. As discussed previously in the public comments section of this chapter, a few small businesses or those speaking on behalf of small businesses maintain that the standard is confusing or overly complicated for entities with few resources to devote to understanding the rule and implementing its requirements. This might be especially valid for small firms working in remodeling and renovation. Some of these commenters provided suggestions for how this problem for employers with limited resources might be aided, for example, through development of checklists and other simple tools. Because the concerns with "complexity" appear to be a matter of inadequate resources, OSHA will consider developing additional training, management, and outreach materials with the small business owner in mind.

8.1.4 Overlap with Other Rules

As discussed previously in the public comments section of this chapter, several commenters raised various concerns about potentially confusing, conflicting, or duplicative requirements in the OSHA, EPA, and HUD lead programs. Many of the concerns reflect differences in the populations protected by the three programs and the regulatory-mandated programs developed and implemented to protect the targeted populations. A few commenters, such as HUD, would harmonize differences in regulatory programs by having OSHA amend the requirements of the lead in construction standard to mirror other agency requirements. Despite the claims of confusing or conflicting provisions, our review of the comments and a comparison of major provisions in the existing EPA and HUD programs does not reveal any actual conflict among the lead programs. The following table presents a comparison of major program elements.

Table 8-1: Comparison of OSHA, EPA, and HUD Lead Programs

Element OSHA HUD EPA
Initial Assessment Air monitoring required. Certified lead-based paint (LBP) inspector or risk assessor; or may presume LBP or LBP hazards, respectively. Certified lead-based paint (LBP) inspector or risk assessor; or may presume LBP or LBP hazards, respectively.
The OSHA monitoring must be done during the work and could apply even if EPA testing found no LBP. LBP inspection includes XRF or paint chip analysis of each room; (or may presume LBP. LBP inspection includes XRF or paint chip analysis of each room; (or may presume LBP.
  The EPA/HUD testing or presumption is done before a project starts. The EPA/HUD testing or presumption is done before a project starts.
Work practices All practices allowed; PPE varies with exposure level.  Lead Safe Work Practices:  Lead Safe Work Practices:
Wet scraping or sanding. Wet scraping or sanding.
Chemical stripping. Chemical stripping.
Heat gun below 1100 F. Heat gun below 1100 F.
Power tools with HEPA vacuum. Power tools with HEPA vacuum.
Banned practices: Banned practices:
Open flame burning or torching. Open flame burning or torching.
Abrasive blasting or sandblasting without HEPA exhaust control. Abrasive blasting or sandblasting without HEPA exhaust control.
Heat guns at or above 1100 F. Heat guns at or above 1100 F.
Dry sanding or scraping more than de minimis areas, except beyond 1 foot of electrical outlets. Dry sanding or scraping more than de minimis areas, except around electrical outlets.
Paint stripping with haz substance or haz chemical in a poorly ventilated space.  
PPE Respirator requirements vary with exposures. Recommends NIOSH N100 respirators for high dust activities. Recommends NIOSH N100 respirators for high dust activities.
Recommends work clothes, booties, hats, face shields. Recommends work clothes, booties, hats. Recommends work clothes, booties, hats.
Hygiene Separate eating, washing, change areas; showers if feasible. Recommends no eating, smoking, etc. in work area. Recommends no eating, smoking, etc. in work area.
Recommends washing, tack pads to clean shoes when leaving work area. Recommends washing, tack pads to clean shoes when leaving work area.
Removal of work clothes, vacuuming of outside clothes. Removal of work clothes, vacuuming of outside clothes.
Containment Work area warning signs when exposure is above the PEL Marking work area. Marking work area.
  Exclude occupants from work area, relocate occupants during longer disruptive projects Exclude occupants from work area, relocate occupants during longer disruptive projects
  Sealing off room for high dust activities. Sealing off room for high dust activities.
  Covering or removing furniture and fittings. Covering or removing furniture and fittings.
  Covering floors with heavy plastic sheeting. Covering floors with heavy plastic sheeting.
  Shutting off HVAC and blocking vents. Shutting off HVAC and blocking vents.
  Closing doors and windows. Closing doors and windows.
Clean up Use of HEPA vacuum; (HEPA vacuum is required only if the employer chooses to use vacuuming for clean-up; the employer can choose other equally effective methods as described under 29 CFR 1926.62(h) - Housekeeping.) Use of HEPA vacuum. Use of HEPA vacuum.
Vacuum at least daily. Vacuum at least daily.
At end of project, vacuum top to bottom, then wash, re-vacuum. At end of project, vacuum top to bottom, then wash, re-vacuum.
EPA/HUD more stringent than OSHA (EPA/HUD require more cleaning and a final clearance), but requirements are not inconsistent. EPA/HUD more stringent than OSHA (EPA/HUD require more cleaning and a final clearance), but requirements are not inconsistent.
Medical Surveillance Required. Not covered. Not covered.
Compliance Plan Required when AL exceeded. EPA and HUD require an occupant protection plan. EPA and HUD require an occupant protection plan.
Recordkeeping Testing results, medical program 30 years. Reports on determinations and notifications - 3 years. Reports on determinations and notifications - 3 years.

This analysis of EPA requirements does not include any of the provisions that EPA proposed in its ongoing Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program rulemaking (71 FR 1588, January 10, 2006).

The commenters nonetheless identify the possibility that employers, especially employers owning small businesses, and individuals who seek training or certification might experience some confusion over the elements of the OSHA, HUD, and EPA programs. For example, BCTD and NAHB stated that it can be confusing to navigate through the EPA, HUD, and OSHA requirements.  BCTD urged OSHA to use this proceeding as an opportunity to consult and coordinate with its sister agencies, for two separate objectives: first, to determine whether OSHA can better accomplish its own broader objectives by adopting approaches taken by the other agencies within their more limited jurisdiction (i.e.,exposure to lead-based paint in residential, child-occupied, and commercial buildings and on superstructures); and second, to develop a single, comprehensive guidance document outlining the measures employers must take to comply with these standards.

NAHB detailed the following areas it considered inconsistent:
  • EPA and HUD limit applicability to work where more than a de minimis area will be disturbed; OSHA does not.
  • HUD prohibits some work practices; OSHA does not.
  • The training requirements and content are different, which results in employers and employees needing to attend separate training courses to cover EPA/HUD and OSHA rules.
Other commenters voiced similar concerns that employers and individuals might have difficulty understanding each set of regulations and how the regulations interact or cede authority to each other. 

EPA has existing training courses for contractors who are performing lead abatement. Much of the regulated abatement work is done in federally funded housing where children under six reside. HUD and EPA have joint training courses for contractors who are performing renovation, remodeling and painting, including interim controls of lead-based paint hazards; HUD recognizes additional courses for interim control work. EPA has training courses for employees who are seeking to be certified to perform inspections or risk assessments or to serve as supervisors. The content of the certification training courses cover the EPA rules; the content of the lead-safe work practices training covers HUD and EPA rules as well as highlights of OSHA rules. The training does not emphasize elements of employee protection that are central to OSHA's requirements, such as, respiratory protection, personal hygiene methods, and medical removal protection.

OSHA agrees with the commenters that confusion could be possible and that it could be addressed by coordinated training and guidance. OSHA will engage EPA and HUD to explore ways to present lead protection programs in written materials and training that could help improve employer understanding of lead regulations that affect construction while also reducing the burden on employers. As a few commenters stated, training is also an ideal way to get the message to employees and employers who direct or supervise lead-related activities. For example, OSHA could augment the EPA/HUD training by adding modules on air monitoring, respirator requirements, and medical surveillance. Incorporating OSHA requirements into the training will also help avoid the confusion that might result when employers or employees attend different training courses. Similarly, a joint program might provide a forum for illustrating the distinct characteristics of each program in a positive light.

OSHA will also review outreach materials to determine if these materials can be revised to address differences and similarities in OSHA, HUD, and EPA programs.

8.1.5 Changes That Affect the Rule

The information collected and analyzed to develop this Section 610 review and the public comments identify a few significant changes that have occurred that would affect the rule. Issues such as the changing employee populations in construction, including more Hispanic employees in many parts of the country, and other ethnic groups in others, such as Greek, Polish, and Russian employees in the New York City area, will affect how OSHA provides outreach to business, especially small business, and communications with employees. The comments did not present evidence that there have been other major changes that may affect the standard. In the future, as the analysis and a few comments point out, the CPSC's ban on lead paint will eventually lead to a reduction of the problem of lead removal from buildings as the burden of lead paint is removed or demolished.

8.2 E.O. 12866 Analysis

Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review states that agencies of the Federal government must review their existing significant rules "to determine whether any such regulations should be modified or eliminated so as to make the Agency's regulatory program more effective in achieving the regulatory objectives, less burdensome, or in greater alignment with the President's priorities and principles set forth in this Executive Order."

8.2.1 Whether the standard Has Become Unjustified or Unnecessary as a Result of Changed Circumstances

The Lead in Construction standard has not become unjustified or unnecessary as a result of changed circumstances. The toxic properties of lead are well documented and lead continues to pose risks to employees at construction sites where lead is present.

8.2.2 Whether the standard is Compatible with Other Regulations and Not Duplicative or Inappropriately Burdensome in the Aggregate

The Lead in Construction standard is compatible with current regulations issued by EPA and HUD. The three agencies' programs do vary in their scope, application, and details, reflecting differences in the populations protected by the three programs and the statutorily-mandated programs developed and implemented to protect the targeted populations. The programs mutually reinforce each other, too. For example, compliance with OSHA requirements will lead to lower lead exposures for residents of houses and apartments. To the extent that understanding the elements of the three programs and abiding by the appropriate requirements might be better coordinated, OSHA will consider ways to coordinate development of a joint training program with EPA and/or HUD, as well as to redesign program outreach materials to better explain OSHA requirements in the context of related requirements in the HUD or EPA programs.

8.2.3 Whether the standard is Consistent With the President's Priorities

The standard remains consistent with the President's priorities. In 1970, concerned about the high rates of deaths, injuries, disabilities, and diseases associated with the workplace, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The OSH Act was passed by a bipartisan Congress "to assure so far as possible every working man and woman safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our natural resources." OSHA was created to develop mandatory job safety and health standards and enforce them effectively.

The Lead in Construction standard is also consistent with the Presidential priority "to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the United States as a major public health problem by the year 2010," because the standard "also benefits the children of those workers who may have been placed at risk via take-home exposures (such as lead dust on work clothing)."[214]

The objective of Executive Order 12866 is to reform and make more efficient the regulatory process.  The regulatory process must be consistent with the President's priorities to enhance planning and coordination with respect to both new and existing regulations; to restore the integrity and legitimacy of regulatory review and oversight; and to make the process more accessible and open to the public.

The Lead in Construction standard is consistent with these priorities to the extent that it has produced the intended benefits - a reduction in the blood lead levels of employees in industries where exposure to lead can be expected.

8.2.4 Whether the Effectiveness of the standard Can Be Improved

Commenters made some suggestions that would likely improve employer understanding of the standard, increase compliance, and enhance employee safety in the process. One recommendation is to improve compliance assistance and outreach activities. For example, NIOSH recommended that OSHA materials be translated into Spanish in order to more widely disseminate information on the standard to employers and employees. This recommendation recognizes the increasingly large proportion of the construction labor force that speaks Spanish as a primary language. Materials might help both employers in understanding how to comply with the standards as well as providing information to employees on simple steps that they can take to protect themselves, such as properly wearing PPE and observing safe hygiene practices. Recognizing the diversity of languages spoken by employees in the New York Metropolitan region, NYC added that materials explaining the standard and supporting compliance should also be translated into Greek, Portuguese, Russian, and Polish, in addition to Spanish.

There were also calls for changing the form or content of compliance materials or creating additional materials. NYSOHCN urged OSHA to provide how-to program management information. The commenter noted that the standard is costly and time-consuming and that lack of day-to-day management of the program can lead to failure, especially among small businesses with limited ability to establish and operate a health and safety program. The comments also recommended that OSHA website information should be more user friendly. NAHB stated that compliance materials should integrate EPA and HUD regulations with the OSHA standard.

SSHA recognizes that the public comments generally support the importance of the standard in reducing employee exposures to lead, as indicated by reduction in BLLs. The comments stipulate, however, that employers must comply with the standard for the provisions to protect employees. To address the barriers to compliance posed by lack of information or inability to comprehend the available materials, OSHA will consider a number of approaches to improving outreach and compliance efforts. One improvement would be to develop outreach materials in multiple languages that explain to employers and employees, in clear and simple terms, the elements of the standard, the hazards posed by exposure to lead, and the practices that can reduce exposure. This would supplement the existing OSHA initiative to provide safety materials in relevant languages.

The existing OSHA website has many relevant materials and is designed to be accessible to small businesses and employees. However, distribution of DVDs containing outreach materials might be an additional way of getting the word out to the thousands of businesses that perform painting, remodeling and renovation work. This may also be a way of getting the word out to the trades that may not be aware of their possible lead exposures.

Virtually every commenter suggested that the development of joint training materials and a program covering OSHA, HUD, and EPA lead requirements would be useful. OSHA will work with HUD, EPA, and NIOSH to develop such training materials and program.

Commenters pointed to differences in OSHA, HUD, and EPA assessment and monitoring requirements. OSHA believes that it might be possible to develop assessment and monitoring approaches that protect employees, integrate the various approaches better, and are cost-effective for small businesses. OSHA will work with HUD and EPA to develop such approaches.

The industrial hygiene provisions of the Lead in Construction standard are important for the health of employees directly exposed to lead and also for the health of the employees' family members, especially children. OSHA intends to work with NIOSH to develop more cost-effective ways for small businesses to implement these industrial hygiene requirements.



Chapter 9. CONCLUSIONS

OSHA has completed its review of the Lead in Construction standard (29 CFR 1926.62) in accordance with the requirements of Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Section 5 of Executive Order 12866. OSHA concludes that there is a continued health need for the rule to reduce neurological, kidney, reproductive, cancer, and other diseases, and there are no significant negative impacts on small businesses, with one limited exception. Residential painters on small, inexpensive painting jobs (mostly on some pre 1941 housing) where exposures are over the lead action level may be underbid by self- employed painters who are not covered by the OSH Act; this situation represents a small minority of painting jobs. Guidance materials, particularly on the initial assessment requirements, may reduce these effects.

OSHA also concludes that the Lead in Construction standard is not overly complex, does not conflict with or duplicate other rules (particularly EPA and HUD rules), and new technology and economic developments have made compliance with the standard easier. The standard is consistent with the goals of E.O. 12286.

OSHA will review its compliance assistance and guidance materials to determine the need for enhancements. OSHA also will review the adequacy of how these materials are disseminated and additional means for reaching affected populations.

OSHA will consult with EPA and HUD to determine the value of a unified training curriculum and whether a course can be developed to meet the requirements of all three agencies. OSHA also will attempt to develop interpretations for its initial assessment requirements [29 CFR 1926.62(d)], in order to integrate them better with HUD and EPA requirements, reduce duplication, and make better use of historical data; these interpretations should help reduce costs and simplify the standard's requirements for small businesses.

These conclusions are expanded on below. They are discussed at considerable length in subchapter 7.6 and in chapter 8.

Section 610 Review of the Lead in Construction Standard

There is a continued need for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Lead in Construction Standard. This standard, mandated by statute, remains both justified and necessary to implement the statute's intent; that is, to reduce both lead exposures in construction employees and disease resulting from these lead exposures. The standard has reduced blood lead levels (BLLs) of exposed employees. Retention of the standard is necessary to continue to achieve that goal because, as the studies and data presented in Chapter 5 of this lookback review show, construction jobs still have high airborne lead exposures, and compliance data indicate that there are continuing violations of the standard.

Studies continue to show that elevated BLLs are associated with neurological effects, including reduced intelligence, changes in brain function, fatigue, impotence, and reductions in nerve conductivity. There are also systemic effects from lead exposures, such as changes in the level of circulating thyroid hormones and changes in immune system parameters. Other effects from lead exposures include reduced kidney function, increased blood pressure, gastrointestinal effects, cardiovascular effects, and anemia. There is evidence that lead is a reproductive toxin. The DHHS has determined that lead and lead compounds are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens, and the EPA has determined that lead is a probable human carcinogen. Furthermore, a recently published study of the general, U.S. adult population reports increases in both cardiovascular deaths and deaths from all causes at BLLs substantially lower than previously reported [i.e., an increase in mortality at BLLs >0.10 µmol/L (≥2µg/dL)].

A number of jobs in the construction industry create high airborne levels of lead. These include bridge repainting and repair, lead remediation, remodeling and renovation of older housing and commercial buildings, preparation for repainting of residences and other structures, repairs of older plumbing, and other jobs. Exposures to employees in bridge repainting can be in the 1000's of ug/m3 of lead, and paint preparation exposures can be in the 100's of ug/m3 of lead. National Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) data and other studies show that some construction employees still have relatively high blood lead levels which may be indicative of disease. These data show that the standard has resulted in lower blood lead levels for construction employees. Although one study indicates that high airborne exposures did not lead to high blood leads for a group of residential painters, other studies indicate high blood leads in residential painters. No studies contradict Congress' conclusion that this standard is needed to protect construction employees.

The evidence indicates that the Lead in Construction standard has not had a negative economic impact on business, including small businesses, in most sectors affected. The construction sector overall is growing in terms of profits, revenues and employment. Small businesses are retaining their share of the business. Bridge painting is generally paid for by governmental entities that usually require bidders to meet the OSHA standard. Larger projects need to meet EPA requirements requiring experienced contractors who follow OSHA requirements. Lead remediation projects follow HUD requirements which require compliance with the OSHA requirements. Renovation and remodeling of older buildings containing lead are usually big enough jobs so that the costs of following the OSHA standard are relatively small in comparison to total costs.

In addition to potential exposure to lead in bridge painting projects, lead paint is still used in some municipalities for traffic paints. However, studies have shown that exposures are minimal because of the nature of the equipment used. Substitutes are available and widely used through the United States; in fact several jurisdictions prohibit the use of lead chromate paint. Therefore, OSHA expects the economic impact to be negligible.

Residential repainting presents a more complex picture. Lead paint was banned from consumer products after 1977; therefore, the standard has no impact on painting new units or repainting post 1977 units. There is relatively little lead paint on units built from 1941 to 1977; for most repainting jobs on units built between 1941 and 1977, an initial assessment that lead exposures are low is all that would be required, and therefore, the costs are manageable for small painting contractors. For some units built before 1941 and a few built between 1941 to 1977 where lead exposure levels are high during preparation for repainting, hazards are created for the painters and their families; the standard creates costs to reduce those hazards. For larger and better quality jobs, the costs to comply with the standard are manageable for small painting contractors. However, for smaller, low quality jobs, a self-employed painter not covered by the standard could underbid a contractor who followed the standard, and for this limited category of jobs, there could be a negative economic impact.

On Jan. 10, 2006, EPA proposed regulations for all rental properties and owner occupied housing containing children under 6 to protect the residents from lead exposure. The practical effect of those regulations will be to encourage the hiring of painting contractors who obey the OSHA standard and will reduce any negative economic impact on small painting contractors. Steps OSHA will be taking to further reduce economic impacts are discussed below.

The standard is not overly complex. It follows the format and principles of other OSHA health standards. However, OSHA will review its compliance assistance and guidance materials to determine the need for enhancements. OSHA also will review the adequacy of how these materials are disseminated and additional means for reaching affected populations.

The OSHA Lead in Construction standard does not conflict with other regulations. Both EPA and HUD have major regulations regarding lead, the EPA to reduce lead in the environment and HUD to reduce lead exposure in residences, especially to children. The OSHA and HUD regulations tend to be complementary. Following OSHA regulations will reduce lead dust in residences which both protects the painter or remodeler and the children who live in that unit. The relationship with EPA regulations is more complex. For example, EPA requires the use of enclosures on bridge painting to prevent the spread of lead to the environment. This tends to increase airborne exposures in the employee's breathing zone, making rigorous adherence to the OSHA standard crucial for protecting the employee.

Though the HUD and EPA regulations do not conflict with OSHA's standard, commenters made two suggestions which OSHA will seriously consider and discuss with EPA, HUD, and NIOSH. First, many of the commenters suggested that the agencies develop a joint training program which would cover the requirements of each of the agencies. Second, some commenters suggested that OSHA consider modifying its initial assessment monitoring to be more integrative with HUD and EPA approaches.

Several technological changes will make it easier to comply with the standard. The reduced use of lead in paint, piping, solder and elsewhere will in the long term reduce employee exposure to lead. Various improvements have been made to capture devices on tools and HEPA vacuums that increase their effectiveness and reduce their cost. Portable trailers with showers and clean change facilities have become more available and cheaper to rent, to reduce the likelihood that employees will track lead home to expose their families.

OSHA received a number of extensive comments which are summarized in Chapter 8. Commenters representing NIOSH, HUD, state EPAs, the Building and Construction Trades Division of the AFL-CIO, the New York State Occupational Health Clinic Network, and a number of public interest and environmental protection professional groups stressed the need for the standard, the studies demonstrating the negative health effects of lead, and the high levels that construction employees can be exposed to if they are not properly protected. They suggested ways that the standard should be strengthened and expressed how important it is that the OSHA, HUD, and EPA regulations all work together.

The National Association of Home Builders, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Small Business Administration suggested that OSHA have a rulemaking to reconsider the data and make the standard more cost-effective. Congress not only directed OSHA to issue the Lead in Construction standard, it specified in considerable detail what should be included in response to lead poisoning of construction employees. Congress did not specifically direct OSHA to engage in further rulemaking like it did when it directed OSHA to issue the Hazardous Waste standard. The health studies and exposure information since the standard was issued do not indicate any less need for the standard, and the standard is consistent with other health standards. Therefore, a very large scale, OSHA resource intensive rulemaking for lead in construction, which would most likely result in a rule very similar to the rule we have now, does not appear to be a wise use of OSHA's limited rulemaking resources.

Many commenters made some suggestions intended to make the standard more effective in protecting employees and more cost-effective. These include: issuing more extensive outreach and guidance materials, including materials in Spanish and other relevant languages; developing a joint training curriculum covering OSHA, HUD and EPA requirements; developing a clearer initial assessment approach, to be better integrated with HUD and EPA requirements; reducing any duplication between regulations; and making the standard more cost-effective for small businesses, by encouraging the development of less costly ways to meet industrial hygiene requirements, so that lead will not be tracked home to employees' families.   OSHA will review these suggestions for possible implementation.

Executive Order 12866 Review of the Lead in Construction Standard

The Lead in Construction standard, mandated by statute, remains both justified and necessary to implement the statute's intent; that is, to reduce both lead exposures in construction employees and disease resulting from these lead exposures. The standard has reduced blood lead levels of exposed employees. Its retention is necessary to continue to achieve that goal because construction jobs still have high airborne lead exposures, and compliance data indicate that there are continuing violations of the standard. Therefore, the standard is consistent with E.O. 12866.

The standard is consistent with other OSHA standards and not in conflict with and generally consistent with EPA regulations to reduce environmental exposures and HUD regulations to reduce lead exposures in children. Indeed, the OSHA standard is often complimentary to those regulations. As discussed, OSHA will review initial assessment requirements to see if a more unified and cost-effective approach can be developed.

The standard is not inappropriately burdensome in the aggregate. The one narrow area discussed above where there may be some burden (i.e., house painters exposed to lead while performing small jobs) will be ameliorated by better outreach materials, better guidance on initial assessment, and the finalization of new EPA regulations.

The effectiveness of the Standard could be improved by making outreach materials available in Spanish and other relevant languages. Also, after consultation with EPA and HUD, OSHA will consider the development of unified training materials and exploring a more unified approach to initial assessment.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Conclusions:

OSHA concludes that the Lead in Construction standard is necessary to protect construction employees from lead disease.
  • Studies continue to demonstrate that elevated lead exposures result in disease and that some construction jobs involve high airborne lead exposures.
  • The standard has resulted in reduced blood lead levels for construction employees.
  • The Lead in Construction standard is also consistent with the Presidential priority "to eliminate childhood lead poisoning in the United States as a major public health problem by the year 2010," because the standard "also benefits the children of those workers who may have been placed at risk via take-home exposures (such as lead dust on work clothing).
Recommendations:

As a result of this lookback review and the comments received from participants, OSHA is considering the following actions to improve the effectiveness of the standard and make it more cost-effective:
  • OSHA will review its compliance assistance materials to determine the need for updates. OSHA also will review the adequacy of how these materials are disseminated and additional means for reaching affected populations.
  • OSHA will consult with EPA and HUD to determine the value of a unified training curriculum and whether a course can be developed to meet the requirements of all three agencies. OSHA also will attempt to develop interpretations for its initial assessment requirements [29 CFR 1926.62(d)], in order to integrate them better with HUD and EPA requirements, reduce duplication, and make better use of historical data; these interpretations should help reduce costs and simplify the standard's requirements for small businesses.



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APPENDIX B: UNIT COST DATA(See Chaper 7 for sources.)

Cost Item Cost Unit Comments
Initial Assessment      
Pre-Assessment      
Lead Abatement $40 Per room Assume 6 rooms
Bridge $500 Per project FHWA model
Initial Monitoring      
Supervisor - Bridge $227 Per project Assumes 8 hours
Supervisor - Painting $254 Per project  
Supervisor - Abatement $267 Per project  
Recordkeeping $3 Per day  
Air Monitor $719 Per year Palintest SA 5000 (price from Palintest USA web site)
Electrodes $6.40 Per test Palintest SA 5000 (price from Palintest USA web site) ($64 per pack of 10)
Air Sampler $116 Per year Staplex Air Sampler PST 2X
Filters $2.41 Per test Staplex ($121 for pack of 50)
High Volume Air Monitoring - Bridges $50 Per day FHWA model
Lab Testing of Samples $100 Per day FHWA model
Waste Disposal $25 Per job EPA evaluation of Palintest 5000 listed $250; actual cost will vary by number of electrodes used
Post Site Assessment $500 Per job FHWA model
Compliance Plan      
Painting $28 Per project Assumes 1 hour
Lead Abatement $67 Per project Assumes 2 hours
Bridges $500 Per project FHWA estimate
Training      
Painting $76 Per employee Assumes 4 hours training
Lead Abatement $122 Per employee Assumes 4 hours training
Bridges $106 Per employee Assumes 4 hours training
Respirators      
Half-face supplied air (pump, line, respirator) $124 Per year SAS Safety Corp; painting and lead abatement
HEPA filter $2.25 Per employee 1 per job for abatement; 1 per year for most painters
Supplied air blast helmets $126 Per year 3M abrasive blasting helmet
Air pump (3 hoods) $332 Per year SAS Safety Corp
Air supply line (100 ft) $23 Per year SAS Safety Corp
Other Equipment      
HEPA Vacuum - Dry $341 Per year Annualized cost
HEPA Vacuum - Wet/Dry $615 Per year Annualized cost
HEPA Filter $470 Per year  
VAC-PAC $7,072-$12,682 Per year Pentek
Airline $93 Per year Pentek
HEPA filter $579 Per year Pentek
Roughing filter $540 Per year Pentek
Rotopeen scaler $1,017 Per year Pentek
Airline $102 Per year Pentek
Needle gun $2,191 Per year Pentek
Airline $102 Per year Pentek
Decontamination Trailer      
Rented $200 Per day National Estimator 2004
Purchased $748 Per month FHWA model
Trailer Permit $40 Per project  
Work Clothes $8 Per employee Daily cost (coveralls, gloves, shoe covers)
Medical Surveillance      
Lead Test $50 Per test  
Physical Exam $150 Per employee Initial test only
Follow-up Visit $50 Per employee  
Lost Work Time      
Painting $47 Per employee Assumes 2.5 hours
Lead Abatement $76 Per employee  
Bridges $66 Per employee  
Recordkeeping $3 Per employee Assumes 6 minutes of a supervisor's time
Medical Removal      
Painting $757 Per week Per employee
Lead Abatement $1,221 Per week Per employee
Bridges $1,063 Per week Per employee




# Commenter Type
2-1 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Trade Assn
2-2 Battery Council International Trade Assn
2-3 California Environmental Protection Agency (CA EPA) Government
2-4 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Government
2-7 Plumbing, Heating Cooling Contractors National Association Trade Assn
2-8 Lead and Environmental Hazards Association Copy 3-16
2-9 EnviroScience Consultants Industry
2-10 NYC, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Government
2-11 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Government
2-12 NAHB Copy 3-20
2-13 National Abatement Technology Center Training Center
2-14 National Paint and Coatings Association Trade Assn
2-15 CA Department of Health Services Government
2-16 Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO Union
2-17 NYS Occupational Health Clinic Network Advocacy
2-18 National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Government
2-19 American Subcontractors Assn Trade Assn
2-20 HUD Copy 2-11
2-21 Mystic Air Quality Industry
2-22 HUD Government
3-1 Sachau, B Individual
3-2 MN Department Natural Resources Government
3-3 Aspen Environmental Industry
3-4 United Coatings Industry
3-5 Axis Remedial Sciences Industry
3-6 Olhiser, B Individual
3-7 Green Knight Environmental Safety Support Services Inc Industry
3-8 NAHB Copy 2-1
3-9 CI Engineering Industry
3-10 County of Sonoma Facilities Operations Industry
3-11 Battelle Industry
3-12 American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) New Jersey Industry
3-13 Tank Industry Consultants Industry
3-14 Puerto Rico OSHA Government
3-15 U.S. Small Business Administration Government
3-16 The Lead and Environmental Hazards Association (LEHA) Trade Assn
3-17 NYS Occupational Health Clinic Network Advocacy
3-18 Alliance for Healthy Homes Advocacy
3-19 Organizational Resources Counselors Industry
3-20 NAHB Trade Assn
3-21 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Trade Assn
3-22 National Center Healthy Housing Advocacy
3-23 Gobbell Hays Partners Industry
3-24 National Center Healthy Housing Copy 3-22
3-25 National Federation of Independent Businesses Legal Found. Trade Assn




§ 610. Periodic review of rules
(a) Within one hundred and eighty days after the effective date of this chapter, each agency shall publish in the Federal Register a plan for the periodic review of the rules issued by the agency which have or will have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities. Such plan may be amended by the agency at any time by publishing the revision in the Federal Register. The purpose of the review shall be to determine whether such rules should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded, consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, to minimize any significant economic impact of the rules upon a substantial number of such small entities. The plan shall provide for the review of all such agency rules existing on the effective date of this chapter within ten years of that date and for the review of such rules adopted after the effective date of this chapter within ten years of the publication of such rules as the final rule. If the head of the agency determines that completion of the review of existing rules is not feasible by the established date, he shall so certify in a statement published in the Federal Register and may extend the completion date by one year at a time for a total of not more than five years.

(b) In reviewing rules to minimize any significant economic impact of the rule on a substantial number of small entities in a manner consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, the agency shall consider the following factors--

(1) the continued need for the rule;

(2) the nature of complaints or comments received concerning the rule from the public;

(3) the complexity of the rule;

(4) the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates or conflicts with other Federal rules, and, to the extent feasible, with State and local governmental rules; and

(5) the length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule.

(c) Each year, each agency shall publish in the Federal Register a list of the rules which have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, which are to be reviewed pursuant to this section during the succeeding twelve months. The list shall include a brief description of each rule and the need for and legal basis of such rule and shall invite public comment upon the rule.




REGULATORY PLANNING AND REVIEW

The American people deserve a regulatory system that works for them, not against them: a regulatory system that protects and improves their health, safety, environment, and well-being and improves the performance of the economy without imposing unacceptable or unreasonable costs on society; regulatory policies that recognize that the private sector and private markets are the best engine for economic growth; regulatory approaches that respect the role of State, local, and tribal governments; and regulations that are effective, consistent, sensible, and understandable. We do not have such a regulatory system today.

With this Executive order, the Federal Government begins a program to reform and make more efficient the regulatory process. The objectives of this Executive order are to enhance planning and coordination with respect to both new and existing regulations; to reaffirm the primacy of Federal agencies in the regulatory decision-making process; to restore the integrity and legitimacy of regulatory review and oversight; and to make the process more accessible and open to the public. In pursuing these objectives, the regulatory process shall be conducted so as to meet applicable statutory requirements and with due regard to the discretion that has been entrusted to the Federal agencies.

Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Statement of Regulatory Philosophy and Principles.

(a) The Regulatory Philosophy. Federal agencies should promulgate only such regulations as are required by law, are necessary to interpret the law, or are made necessary by compelling public need, such as material failures of private markets to protect or improve the health and safety of the public, the environment, or the well-being of the American people. In deciding whether and how to regulate, agencies should assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, including the alternative of not regulating. Costs and benefits shall be understood to include both quantifiable measures (to the fullest extent that these can be usefully estimated) and qualitative measures of costs and benefits that are difficult to quantify, but nevertheless essential to consider. Further, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, agencies should select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity), unless a statute requires another regulatory approach.

(b) The Principles of Regulation. To ensure that the agencies' regulatory programs are consistent with the philosophy set forth above, agencies should adhere to the following principles, to the extent permitted by law and where applicable:

(1) Each agency shall identify the problem that it intends to address (including, where applicable, the failures of private markets or public institutions that warrant new agency action) as well as assess the significance of that problem.

(2) Each agency shall examine whether existing regulations (or other law) have created, or contributed to, the problem that a new regulation is intended to correct and whether those regulations (or other law) should be modified to achieve the intended goal of regulation more effectively.

(3) Each agency shall identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including providing economic incentives to encourage the desired behavior, such as user fees or marketable permits, or providing information upon which choices can be made by the public.

(4) In setting regulatory priorities, each agency shall consider, to the extent reasonable, the degree and nature of the risks posed by various substances or activities within its jurisdiction.

(5) When an agency determines that a regulation is the best available method of achieving the regulatory objective, it shall design its regulations in the most cost-effective manner to achieve the regulatory objective. In doing so, each agency shall consider incentives for innovation, consistency, predictability, the costs of enforcement and compliance (to the government, regulated entities, and the public), flexibility, distributive impacts, and equity.

(6) Each agency shall assess both the costs and the benefits of the intended regulation and, recognizing that some costs and benefits are difficult to quantify, propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs.

(7) Each agency shall base its decisions on the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, economic, and other information concerning the need for, and consequences of, the intended regulation.

(8) Each agency shall identify and assess alternative forms of regulation and shall, to the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than specifying the behavior or manner of compliance that regulated entities must adopt.

(9) Wherever feasible, agencies shall seek views of appropriate State, local, and tribal officials before imposing regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect those governmental entities. Each agency shall assess the effects of Federal regulations on State, local, and tribal governments, including specifically the availability of resources to carry out those mandates, and seek to minimize those burdens that uniquely or significantly affect such governmental entities, consistent with achieving regulatory objectives. In addition, as appropriate, agencies shall seek to harmonize Federal regulatory actions with related State, local, and tribal regulatory and other governmental functions.

(10) Each agency shall avoid regulations that are inconsistent, incompatible, or duplicative with its other regulations or those of other Federal agencies.

(11) Each agency shall tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, including individuals, businesses of differing sizes, and other entities (including small communities and governmental entities), consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives, taking into account, among other things, and to the extent practicable, the costs of cumulative regulations.

(12) Each agency shall draft its regulations to be simple and easy to understand, with the goal of minimizing the potential for uncertainty and litigation arising from such uncertainty.

Sec. 5. Existing Regulations.

In order to reduce the regulatory burden on the American people, their families, their communities, their State, local, and tribal governments, and their industries; to determine whether regulations promulgated by the executive branch of the Federal Government have become unjustified or unnecessary as a result of changed circumstances; to confirm that regulations are both compatible with each other and not duplicative or inappropriately burdensome in the aggregate; to ensure that all regulations are consistent with the President's priorities and the principles set forth in this Executive order, within applicable law; and to otherwise improve the effectiveness of existing regulations:

(a) Within 90 days of the date of this Executive order, each agency shall submit to OIRA a program, consistent with its resources and regulatory priorities, under which the agency will periodically review its existing significant regulations to determine whether any such regulations should be modified or eliminated so as to make the agency's regulatory program more effective in achieving the regulatory objectives, less burdensome, or in greater alignment with the President's priorities and the principles set forth in this Executive order. Any significant regulations selected for review shall be included in the agency's annual Plan. The agency shall also identify any legislative mandates that require the agency to promulgate or continue to impose regulations that the agency believes are unnecessary or outdated by reason of changed circumstances.

(b) The Administrator of OIRA shall work with the Regulatory Working Group and other interested entities to pursue the objectives of this section. State, local, and tribal governments are specifically encouraged to assist in the identification of regulations that impose significant or unique burdens on those governmental entities and that appear to have outlived their justification or be otherwise inconsistent with the public interest.

(c) The Vice President, in consultation with the Advisors, may identify for review by the appropriate agency or agencies other existing regulations of an agency or groups of regulations of more than one agency that affect a particular group, industry, or sector of the economy, or may identify legislative mandates that may be appropriate for reconsideration by the Congress.


[1] 63 FR 34139 (June 23, 1998). For complete text of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Section 610, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., see Appendix D.

[2] For the text of EO 12866, see Appendix E.

[3] 29 U.S.C. 655(a).

[4] 29 CFR 1910.1000 (General Industry); 29 CFR 1926.55 (Construction).

[5] 29 CFR 1910.1025.

[6] 43 FR 52986, November 14, 1978.

[7] 58 FR 26590 (May 4, 1993).

[8] Title X is also known as the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (42 U.S.C. 4822d).

[9] Pub. L. 102-550 (October 28, 1992).

[10] 58 FR 26590 (May 4, 1993).

[11] 29 CFR 1975.4.

[12] OSHA, Lead in Construction, OSHA 3142-09R 2003, page 8 (2003).

[13] OSHA, Lead in Construction, OSHA 3142-09R 2003, pages 8-9 (2003).

[14] Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead, September 2005, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp13.html, accessed 2/6/2006.

[15] Ibid.

[16] http://www.oldhouseweb.com/oldhouse/content/npsbriefs/interiorpaint/1.asp, accessed June 25, 2004.

[17] http://www.tfhrs.gov/hnr20/bridge/mainbc.htm, accessed 5/13/2004.

[18] Cigarettes themselves may contain a small quantity of lead, a small fraction of which is inhaled (ATSDR Toxicological Profile of Lead, Chapter 5).

[19] ATSDR Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead, Public Health Statement. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp13.html#bookmark07, accessed February 7, 2006.

[20] Ibid.

[21] ATSDR Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead, September 2005. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp13.html

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Menke, Andy, et al., "Blood Lead Below 0.48 µmol/L (10 µg/dL) and Mortality Among US Adults," Circulation, vol. 114, pp.1388-1394, Sep 2006.

[26] Ibid

[27] Ibid

[28] Ibid

[29] ATSDR Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead, September 2005. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp13.html

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] ATSDR Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead, p. 204-205, September 2005. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp13.html

[37] OSHA Technical Manual, Controlling Lead Exposures in the Construction Industry, Section V, Chapter 3.

[38] U.S. Federal Highway Administration, www.tfhrc.gov/hnr20/bridge/mainbc.htm accessed 5/13/04.

[39] Bob Kogler, Team Leader, Bridge Design and Construction Team, Office of Infrastructure R&D, Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, FHWA.

[40] HUD, "Economic Analysis of the Final Rule on Lead-Based Paint," September 7, 1999.

[41] EPA, "Economic Analysis of Toxic Substance Control Act Section 403: Lead-Based Paint Hazard standards," December 21, 2000.

[42] 52 FR 20674, June 2, 1987; States were required to enforce 40 CFR 143.43, prohibition on use of lead pipes, solder, and flux, effective June 19, 1988.

[43] www.tfhrc.gov/hnr20/bridge/lead.htm accessed 5/13/04.

[44] Becker, Paul. "Lead Exposure during Hot Cutting of Stripped Steel," Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 16(5): 502-505, 2001.

[45] Scholz, Peter F, et al. "Residential and Commercial Painters' Exposure to Lead during Surface Preparation," AIHA Journal, 63:22-28, 2002.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Ibid.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Menke, Andy, et al., "Blood Lead Below 0.48 µmol/L (10 µg/dL) and Mortality Among US Adults," Circulation, vol. 114, pp.1388-1394, Sep 2006.

[51]2002 Economic Census, Construction-Subject Series, Industry General Summary, October 2005.

[52] http://www.census.gov/const/www/c30index.html, accessed 6/28/04.

[53] The percentages are based on all firms reporting employees. Approximately 33,000 building contractors, 4,000 heavy construction firms, and 62,000 specialty contractors reported having no employees on the day of the survey.

[54] BLS, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, Construction, Total Separated, data extracted February 9, 2006.

[55] Reynolds, Stephen J., et al. "Prevalence of Elevated Lead Levels and Exposure to Lead in Construction Trades in Iowa and Illinois," American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 36: 307-316, 1999.

[56] U.S. Energy Information Administration, 1999 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey: Building Characteristics Tables, Table B8.

[57] OSHA Technical Manual, Controlling Lead Exposures in the Construction Industry: Engineering and Work Practice Controls.

[58] Ship painters are also included within the painting sector, but are not subject to 29 CFR 1926.62; they are covered under 29 CFR part 1915.

[59] Personal communication with Dan Adley of KTS-Tator, 5/17/04.

[60] Personal communication with Steven Roetter, Tank Industry Consultants, June 28, 2004.

[61] Personal communication with Dan Adley of KTS-Tator, 5/17/04.

[62] http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/britab.htm, accessed May 14, 2004.

[63] www.fra.gov/downloads/safety/bridges.pdf, accessed June 29, 2004.

[64] CDC, "Lead Poisoning in Bridge Demolition Employees," MMWR, 5/28/1993/ 42(20); 388-390.

[65] Johnson, J.; Reynolds, S.; Laurence F.; and Clarke W., 2000. "Lead Exposure Among Workers Renovating a Previously Deleaded Bridge: Comparison of Trades, Work Tasks". American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, Vol. 61: pages 815-819, November-December 2000

[66] Personal communication with Steven Roetter, Tank Industry Consultants, June 28, 2004.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Personal communication with Dan Adley of KTS-Tator, 5/17/04.

[69] One source indicates that while lead-sheathed cables still exist, there is very little hot lead work; lead cables are fitted into splice cases using sealing tape and compression-type closure. http://yarchive.net/phone/cable_splicing.html, accessed July 7, 2004.

[70] OSHA Technical Manual, "Controlling Lead Exposures in the Construction Industry: Engineering and Work Practice Controls," Section V, Chapter 3.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2004-2005.

[73] http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos256.htm.

[74] EPA covers 13 states, 3 territories, and 9 tribal areas. The states range from low population states, such as Montana and Wyoming, to Florida and New York.

[75] MA Division of Occupational Safety, list of currently licensed deleader contractors, as of 4/28/2004.

[76] http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos209.htm, accessed June 30, 2004.

[77] http://www.bls.gov/oes/2003/may/oes472141.htm.

[78] Measuring the Benefits of Home Remodeling, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 2003.

[79]  Belsky, Eric S., M.A. Calabria, and Alfred R. Nucci, "Survivorship and Growth in the Residential Remodeling Industry: Evidence from the Census of Construction," W01-5, JCHS, Harvard University, March 2001.

[80] See Tables 5-1 and 5-2 infra for some exposure data.

[81] Ibid

[82] 15 U.S.C. 2682.

[83] 15 U.S.C. 2683.

[84] 15 U.S.C. 2686(b).

[85] 40 CFR 745 Subpart L - Lead-based Paint Activities.

[86] 40 CFR 745 Subpart E - Residential Property Renovation.

[87] 40 CFR 745 Subpart D - Lead-based Paint Hazards.

[88] US EPA, Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, Fact Sheet: EPA Releases Final Rule to Ensure Safe Conduct of Lead-Based Paint Activities, EPA-747-F-96-005 (August 1996). http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/lead/fs8-15.pdf

[89] 40 CFR 745.82.

[90] 66 FR 1206 (January 5, 2001).

[91] 42 U.S.C. 7409.

[92] The designations PM10 and PM2.5 refer to the diameter of the particles in units of microns. Compliance with the PM2.5 is determined over a three-year period.

[93] 40 CFR 50.7.

[94] 40 CFR 50.12.

[95] 40 CFR 50 Appendix G.

[96] 33 U.S.C. 1311 et seq.

[97] U.S. v. West Indies Transport, Inc., 127 F.3d 299 (3d Cir. 1997), cert. den. 522 U.S. 1052.

[98] 33 U.S.C. 407.

[99] The Steel Structures Painting Council: Society for Protective Coating states in Critical Aspects of Overcoating, June 9, 1995, prepared for the BIRL Industrial Research Laboratory of Northwestern University stated that "it is very unlikely that a bridge painting operation would receive a permit to discharge lead debris into a waterway."

[100] 42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.

[101] FHWA indicates that a 15,000 square foot bridge is the equivalent of a 2-lane highway overpass.

[102] A Pentek report indicates that 2,500 sq. ft. of surface lead paint fills a 55-gallon drum, which would exceed the 100 kg standard; www.pentekusa.com/orion2/orion2.htm, accessed April 13, 2004.

[103] http://www.epa.gov/lead/hhwmemo-july00fnl.pdf, accessed July 1, 2004.

[104] Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-550, which created 42 U.S.C. 4851-4856 and 15 U.S.C. 2681-2692).

[105] 42 U.S.C. 4821-4846.

[106] 24 CFR 35, subpart A (by HUD), and 40 CFR 745, subpart F (by EPA).

[107] 24 CFR 35, subparts B - R.

[108] 24 CFR 35.140.

[109] http://www.cpsc.gov/about/about.html

[110] 15 U.S.C. §1261(f)(1).

[111] CPSC Office of Compliance, Requirements under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act: Labeling and Banning for Chemicals and Other Hazardous Substances 15 U.S.C. § 1261 and 16 CFR Part 1500, http://www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/regsumfhsa.pdf (August 2002).

[112] CPSC, Guidance for Lead (Pb) in Consumer Products, http://www.cpsc.gov/BUSINFO/leadguid.html

[113] 15 U.S.C. §1261(q)(1)(B).

[114] 15 U.S.C. §1261(p).

[115] 16 CFR Part 1303.

[116] 16 CFR 1303.3

[117] www.hud.gov/offices/lead/leadsaferule/EPA_HUDabatementletter.pdf. April 19, 2001.

[118] EPA hearing on March 8, 1999. www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/3_8_99.pdf.

[119] All information in this section is from www.sspc.org, accessed February 9, 2006.

[120] All information above based on material from www.astm.org, accessed August 10, 2007.

[121] "ABLES - United States, 2002," MMWR, July 9, 2004, 53(26);578-582.

[122] The data represent individuals with elevated BLLs, not reports; if an individual had more than one report, the highest level reported is used.

[123] Conversations with State blood lead registries in Florida, Maryland, Connecticut, and California.

[124] CDC, "Lead Poisoning in Bridge Demolition Employees - Massachusetts," MMWR, October 13, 1989/ 38(40): 687-688, 693-694.

[125] CDC, "Lead Poisoning in Bridge Demolition Employees - Georgia, 1992," MMWR, May 28, 1993/42(20); 388-390.

[126] CDC, "Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Lead Poisoning among Bricklayers - Washington State," MMWR, March 15, 1991/ 40(10); 169-171.

[127] CDC, "Lead Exposures Among Lead Burners - Utah 1991," MMWR, May 1, 1992/ 41(17); 307-310.

[128] CDC, "Epidemiological Notes and Reports Lead Poisoning Among Sandblasting Employees - Galveston, Texas, March 1994," MMWR, January 27, 1995/ 44(03); 44-45.

[129] The 90,000 is based on 1990 data, before U.S. bridges were inventoried. Current US DOT data indicate that 193,000 bridges are constructed of structural steel, which would generally be coated with LBP.

[130] Landrigan PJ, Baker EL Jr, Himmelstein JS, Stein GF, Weddig JP, Straub WE. Exposure to lead from the Mystic River Bridge: the dilemma of deleading. N Engl J Med 1982;306: 673-6.

[131] CDC, "Lead Toxicity Among Bridge Employees, 1994," MMWR, December 15, 1995/ 44(49); 913, 919-20.

[132] CDC, "Current Trends Controlling Lead Toxicity in Bridge Employees - Connecticut, 1991-1994," MMWR, February 3, 1995/ 44(04); 76-79.

[133] Ibid

[134] NIOSH, "Protecting Employees Exposed to Lead-based Paint Hazards: A Report to Congress," January 1997.

[135] Ibid

[136] NIOSH, Health Hazard Evaluation Report: HETA #98-0285-2989, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Montpelier, Vermont, December 2005.

[137] Ibid

[138] Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. For 2001 through 2003, the annual rates of total separations for the construction sector as a whole were 70.6%, 67.1%, and 69.7%.

[139] Barbara Materna, Chief, Occupational Health Branch, CA Dept. of Health Services, personal communication, June 28, 2004.

[140] Susan Payne, Occupational Lead Poisoning Program, DHS-OHB, personal communication, July 22, 2004.

[141] "Lead at Work: Elevated Blood Lead Levels in MA Employees, April 1991-Dec. 1995," April 1998, and 1996-2001 data provided by the MA Blood Lead Registry on Feb. 10, 2004.

[142] The highway department is responsible for about 60% of MA bridges. http://www.mass.gov/eotc/facts/charts/facts_bridgechart.html, accessed 5/25/04.

[143] Jacqueline Lurry, Florida Dept. of Health, June 15, 2004 e-mail.

[144] Reynolds, Stephen J., et al., "Prevalence of Elevated Blood Leads and Exposure to Lead in Construction Trades in Iowa and Illinois," American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 36:307-316, 1999.

[145] EIA, 1999 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey.

[146] Jacobs, David E., et al., "The Prevalence of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in U.S. Housing," Environmental Health Perspectives, 110: A599-A606 (2002).

[147] Jacobs et al. report that the number of pre-1940 units declined by 2.8% annually between 1989-1999, the number of 1940-1959 units decline 2.65% annually, and 1960-1974 units declined 2.1% annually. They estimated that between 1989 and 1999, the number of units with LBP declined by a total 10 million units due to housing demolition and renovation alone. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard estimated that 250,000 units a year were being demolished ("Remodeling Homes for Changing Households," 2001).

[148] The number of older units cited in Jacobs et al. is not entirely consistent with the 2003 AHS data, which lists about 1 million more units built prior to 1940 and about 2.5 million fewer units built between 1940 and 1959.

[149] Significant deterioration is defined as 20 square feet or more for exteriors, 2 square feet or more for interiors, and damage to more than 10 percent of interior small surface area component types (windowsills, baseboards, trim).

[150] HUD's 1990 survey (Comprehensive and Workable Plan for the Abatement of LBP in Privately Owned Housing (CWP), which Jacobs et al. updated, projected a higher level of LBP in the housing stock. EPA's economic analysis of its proposed R&R rule used the 1990 data to estimate that the average amount of non-intact LBP in 1960-1978 housing was 31 sq. ft. in interiors and 37 sq. ft. for exteriors; for pre-1960 housing, the estimates were 67 sq. ft. for interiors and 232 sq. ft. for exteriors.

[151] www.census.gov/const/www/quarterly_starts_completions.pdf

[152] 2000 HUD National Survey, data used in Jacobs et al., Table 13.

[153] U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, "Economic Analysis of the Final Rule on Lead-Based Paint: Requirements for Notification, Evaluation, and Reduction of LBP Hazards in Federally Owned Residential Property and Housing Receiving Federal Assistance." September 7, 1999.

[154] Data on the housing stock in metropolitan areas are collected at different times; the data used are the most recent for each area.

[155] Data on suburbs and central cities, from the 2001 American Housing Survey (U.S. Census Bureau); data on metropolitan areas from the most recent AHS report for each MSA.

[156] "Protecting Employees Exposed to Lead-Based Paint Hazards: A Report to Congress," NIOSH, January 1997.

[157] "Lead Exposure Associated with Renovation and Remodeling Activities, Final Summary Report," EPA 747-S-00-001, January 2000.

[158] http://www.epa.gov/lead/rrfinalsummaryreport.pdf.

[159] Phase III looked at BLLs in children.

[160] Susan Payne, Occupational Health Branch, CA Dept. of Health Services, personal communication, July 22, 2004.

[161] The amount being spent on lead abatement per state over time is also unknown.

[162] Rick Rabin, Director of the MA Blood Lead Registry, personal communication, May 21, 2004.

[163] "Lead at Work: Elevated BLLs in MA Employees, April 1991 - Dec. 1995," April 1998.

[164] OSHA IMIS database

[165] Data for 2003 are incomplete, so that year was not considered for this comparison.

[166] The data in this table are based on the inspection information available through OSHA's website. In some cases, the data on the location of the project was not specific enough to determine the exact nature of the workplace. For example, one project was listed as "State Route 741" and another as "I-64". In cases such as these in which a road was listed but not a street address, the workplace was categorized as a road or bridge project.

[167] Reynolds, Stephen J., et al., "Prevalence of Elevated Blood Levels and Exposure to Lead in Construction Trades in Iowa and Illinois," American Journal of Industrial Medicine, vol. 36, pp. 307-316, 1999.

[168] Lead Exposure Associated with Renovation and Remodeling Activities: Phase II. Employee Characterization and BLL Study, May 1997 (EPA 747-R-96-006).

[169] Issued, February 26, 2004. Table 9.

[170] U.S. EPA, Environmental Technology Verification Report, Lead in Dust Wipe Measurement Technology, Palintest Scanning Analyzer SA-5000 System, EPA/600/R-02/057, September 2002.

[171] http://www.advisorycouncil.org/ILC/Economics_Section/Economics%20Index.htm.

[172] "Cost-effective Alternative Methods for Steel Bridge Paint System Maintenance: Cost Model User's Guide," Corrpro Companies, Inc., for FHWA, September 25, 2001.

[173] GSP Construction Contract, 84-1208, Bridge Painting Milepost 110.1 to 120.7 in Monmouth County, NJ, Tabulation of Bids, received February 26, 2004.

[174] "Wet methods are just not acceptable to create an aesthetic finish that my customers demand," Kevin Nolan, painting contractor. "It is just such an impractical thing. The biggest problem with wet work is that you just can't achieve the look or you can't have the productivity that you would under more conventional methods," Stephen Dietrich. March 8, 1999, EPA hearing.

[175] Umberto Lewis, EVP of Nelson Maintenance of Yonkers, NY. Quoted at www.pentekusa.com/coned.html, accessed 5/4/2004.

[176] The National Construction Estimator, 2004. www.get-a-quote.net/costbook, accessed 4/30/2004.

[177] http://nolead.home.mindspring.com/Testing.htm, accessed 5/5/2004.

[178] http://www.epa.gov/Region2/faq/lead_p.htm, accessed 5/5/2004.

[179] www.uky.edu/Healthliteracy/resources/PricingList.htm, accessed 4/8/2004.

[180] http://www.advisorycouncil.org/ILC/Economics_Section/Economics%20Index.htm.

[181] Communication with Robert Kogler, FHWA, June 9, 2004.

[182] National Cost Estimator 2006, Economy 1 or 2 coats, $1.90 sq. ft. of floor area to good quality, 2-3 coats, $4.35 per sq. ft. of floor area.

[183] One commenter put the monitoring cost at $450 a day plus $80 for lab analysis.

[184] National Estimator.

[185]  The numbers by sales and FTE are not identical because some firms do not report all data elements.

[186] Floor area is used as a surrogate for wall area presumably because of the difficulty of estimating wall areas, which would have to account for windows, doors, cabinets, other built-in fixtures, etc.

[187] The 2001 American Housing Survey indicates that the majority of contracted R&R jobs cost less than $5,000, but these jobs include installation of major appliances (water heaters, dishwashers). The costs for major remodeling jobs may be higher. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/ahs/ahs01alt/tab1-3.html

[188] www.cga.state.ct.us/pri/archives/1999rlfinalreport4stateorg.htm, accessed January 6, 2004.

[189] Final Preamble to OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard: 63 FR 1152; January 8, 1998.

[190] Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Massachusetts Department of Public Health. (2005). Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Massachusetts Employees, 1996-2001. 1-8. Lead at Work.

[191] California Department of Health Services, 2002.

[192] Levin, S., Goldberg, M., and Doucette, J. (1997). The Effect of the OSHA Lead Exposure in Construction standard on Blood Lead Levels Among Ironworkers Employed in Bridge Rehabilitation. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 31:303-309.

[193] Johnson, J.C., Clarke, W.R., Fuortes, L.J., Reynolds, S.J. (2000). Lead Exposure Among Employees Renovating a Previously Deleaded Bridge: Comparisons of Trades, Work Tasks. Applied Industrial Hygienist Association Journal, 61:815-819.

[194] Clark, et. al (2004): Guides for Managing Lead Control Programs in Construction. (Ex. 2-17)

[195] (1) Froines JR, Lui WV, Hinds WC, Wegman DH (1986): Effect of aerosol size on the blood lead distribution of industrial employees. Am J of Ind Med, 9: 227-237. (2) Hodgkins DG, Hinkamp DL, Robins TG, Levine SP, Schrork MA, Krebs WH (1990) Air-lead particle sizes in battery manufacturing: potential effects on the OSHA lead compliance model. Appl Occup Environ Hyg, 5:518-525.

[196] See Appendix A in original NYSOHCN comment (docket H023, exhibit 3-17).

[197] Rothenberg S, Rothenberg J, (2005) Testing the dose - response specifications in epidemiology: Public Health and Policy Consequences for Lead. Environ Health Prosp, 113: 1190-1195.

[198] See Appendix A in original NYSOHCN comment (docket H023, exhibit 3-17).

[199] See Appendix A in original NYSOHCN comment (3-17).

[200] See Table 1 in Appendix A of original NYSOHCN comment (docket H023, exhibit 3-17).

[201] See Table 2 in Appendix A of original NYSOHCN comment (docket H023, exhibit 3-17).

[202] Montana Tech, 2002. No further reference provided in comment.

[203] Reames et al., 2001. No further reference provided in comment.

[204] U.S. EPA, 1997. No further reference provided in comment.

[205] See Appendix A in NYSOHCN comments.

[206] Canfield R, Henderson C, Cory - Slechta D, I Cox C, Jusko T, Lanphear B, (2003). Intellectual impairment in children with blood lead concentrations below 10 ug per deciliter. N Engl J Med, 2003; 348:1517-1526, Apr 17, 2003.

[207] Rothenberg S, Rothenberg J, (2005) Testing the dose - response specifications in epidemiology: Public Health and Policy Consequences for Lead. Enviorn Health Prosp, 113: 1190-1195.

[208] Vork K, Hammond K, Sparer J, Cullen M [2001]. Prevention of lead poisoning in construction employees: a new public health approach. Am J Ind Med 39:243-253.

[209] Martin, CJ, Werntz, CL, Ducatman, AM. "The interpretation of zinc protoporphyrin changes in lead intoxication: a case report and review of the literature." Occ Med (Lond), 2004, 54(8): 587-91.

[210] See Appendix A in original NYSOHCN comment (docket H023, exhibit 3-17).

[211] Goldberg M, Levin S, Doucette J, and Griffin G (1997): A task based approach to assessing lead exposure among ironemployees engaged in bridge rehabilitation. Am J Ind Med 31:310-318.

[212] Presidential Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children (2000). Eliminating Childhood Lead Poisoning: A Federal Strategy Targeting Lead Paint Hazards.

[213] Hearn, 1995. No further reference provided in comment.

[214] Presidential Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children (2000). op. cit.