California is considering a significant change in the lead standard.  Please review all these documents.  If you can add other items please contact Dan Napier, CIH at 800-644-1924 X 103 or email him at, but a phone call is advised

DIR Notice of Hearing

Click on lead to see the proposed rules

In the meantime here are a few problems:

A partial list of problem areas.

The following items are significant issues that must be addressed before these changes are implemented:

1.    The document starts out with a declaration that the regulation is over forty years old and should be changed on that basis. Many items are changes made apparently for the sake of change.  The recognized term “Biological Monitoring” is replaced with an undefined term supposedly to improve the responsibility of medical professionals to properly assess the lead exposure.  While significant research has been conducted in regards to lead exposure, there is controversy in regards to the groups studied, the mechanical, chemical etiology of the observed impacts of lead exposure.  The question posed that PICA is caused by lead exposure, or is lead content in a child's blood an indication of PICA is not answered and is largely ignored.  Studies including confirmed, significant lead exposure have not been included in the current literature used to suggest that lead exposure is causing significant levels of illness and physical damage.See PDeSilva
  1. A study published in the journal Environmental Pollution in 2018 found that lead levels in the air in Beijing exceeded the national air quality standard by a factor of 20, and that lead in the air was a major contributor to lead exposure in the population.

  2. A report by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau in 2017 found that soil samples in urban areas of Beijing had lead levels above the national standard, with some samples exceeding the standard by as much as 10 times.

  3. A study published in the journal Environmental Research in 2019 found that children living near a lead battery plant in Beijing had significantly higher levels of lead in their blood than children living in a control area.

  4. Another study published in Environmental Pollution in 2019 found that workers in a lead acid battery recycling plant in Beijing had significantly higher levels of lead in their blood than a control group of workers.

  5. According to a report by China's National Health Commission in 2019, the prevalence of lead poisoning among children in Beijing was higher than the national average, with some areas of the city reporting rates as high as 30%.

  6. There are no reports of Childhood intelligence deficit nor of low birth weight births.  Why is this not discussed in the literature?
  7. THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE RESEARCH, THE WORLD WIDE EXPOSURES DO NOT SUPPORT THE CONCLUSIONS, there is no direct evidence to explain how the lead causes the listed illnesses.  The illness listed are caused by many other factors that we have direct evidence for demonstrating the reason for the illness.
2.    Lead is ubiquitous.  EPA has conducted lead studies in the environment and found that the lead levels in soils (Earth Material) ranges from a low of 3, average (mean) 17.9 to 70.1 Maximum μg/kg (PPM). Higher lead levels were measured, but considered to be outliers they were  found, to be a maximum of 263.0 μg/kg.  That means the soils anywhere could have from 3 to 263 μg/kg  lead content.  The Department of Toxic Substance control has determined by using their “Black Box” calculator that soils above 80 μg/kg  are hazardous.  The regulation means that native California soils are now above the State's regulated limit for lead.  The proposed lead levels will be similarly perilously close to the common background level.  Federal EPA does not list lead in soils a hazard or concern at levels less than 400 μg/kg (PPM).
3.    The current lead standards are some of the most infrequently cited standards.  There are simply no significant numbers of injured workers, or harmed individuals under the current standard.  The changed regulation is properly a solution seeking a problem. 
4.    DOSH has listed a significant number of research papers in support of lowering the PEL of lead, however that have not listed any work that in any way questions the documents cited.
5.    The current document does not have any definition of a base or level where the lead standard should not be implemented.    This will cause a significant cost for all enterprises, contractors, manufacturers, this regulation creates a global requirement for lead training, assessments, and physical examinations.   Lead is present everywhere, it is in office buildings, court rooms, construction sites, schools, hospitals.  The current regulation is missing a lower limit and is therefore overreaching and if made into an enforceable regulation it would have significant social and financial cost. 
6.    NIOSH found that average blood lead levels for the general population is very near 1μg/dl (microgram per deciliter of blood), the current regulation would require employer action if any blood lead level was above 10 μg/dl. The current data does not support the conclusion that injury happens at levels greater than 10.  There is no explanation how lead at greater than 10 causes any illness.  There is no direct evidence that levels greater than 10 cause harm.
7.    The regulation does not define the qualifications for the professionals needed to evaluate exposure or prescribe personal protective equipment or other control measures.  That missing regulation will allow significant risk to the employees and employers.  Identifying professionals who have the training and would have the liability to protect the employees and employers should be in the regulation.
8.    The basis for the toxicology findings is currently under some allegations of data that does not stand up to scrutiny.  See

Update on Linear No-Threshold (LNT) Research-Chapter 2 by Prof. Edward Calabrese, PhD

This is a very technical objection to the toxicologists discussion of possible impacts of low level exposure.

The Linear Non-Threshold (LNT) dose-response model is a commonly used model in radiation protection that predicts the health risks associated with low doses of ionizing radiation. The LNT model assumes that there is no safe threshold dose for radiation exposure and that even very low doses of radiation can increase the risk of cancer and other radiation-related health effects.

The LNT model is based on the idea that radiation-induced DNA damage is cumulative and that any additional damage increases the risk of cancer. The model assumes that the risk of cancer is directly proportional to the amount of radiation received, regardless of the dose level. In other words, the risk of cancer increases linearly with increasing radiation dose, without any threshold dose below which there is no risk.

The LNT model has been used as the basis for setting radiation exposure limits and guidelines for occupational and public radiation protection. However, it is also a topic of ongoing debate and controversy in the scientific community, with some researchers suggesting that the model may overestimate the risks of low-dose radiation exposure.

Critics of the LNT model argue that it is not based on direct evidence and that the risks of low-dose radiation exposure may be overestimated. Some studies have suggested that low doses of radiation may even have a protective effect against cancer, a phenomenon known as radiation hormesis. Nevertheless, the LNT model remains the default model for radiation protection and is widely used by regulatory agencies and researchers in the field.

In short the data is not conclusive and we should not be spending as much on the possible benefits of suspect data.

You only have a few days until the public hearing on April 20, 2022 to submit your written discussion. 

Here is the address for your comment letter.  Mail it or email it before April 20, 2023.
Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board
Sarah Money
2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 350
Sacramento,, CA 95833

Discussion From Roofer's Association

Cost Analysis Roofer's Association

DWN 4/13/2023   Only one week left, Please write that comment Letter!