Lead Exposure from an E-Scrap Recycling Facility Can Transfer to the Home

Recycling of used electronics (E-scrap) is an emerging area of concern as a
source of occupational exposures among workers and a source of take-home
exposures. In an evaluation of an Ohio e-scrap facility, described in this
week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), researchers at the
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that
take-home contamination and lead exposure can occur when dust is transferred
from the workplace to the home.

Recommended steps for the company and employer to take to prevent take-home
exposures, include:

  • reducing exposure in the workplace

  • changing clothes and shoes before going home and leaving soiled clothing at work for laundering

  • storing street clothes in separate areas of the workplace to prevent contamination

  • showering before leaving work

  • prohibiting removal of toxic substances or contaminated items from the workplace

Preventing take-home exposure is key because decontaminating homes and vehicles
is not always effective in the long term. Normal house cleaning and laundry
methods are not enough to reduce the hazard, and decontamination activities can
potentially lead to hazardous exposures. The findings from the evaluation and
recommendations for reducing exposures were shared with the employer and

More information - Source: Centre for Occupational Health and Safety