Lead based paint is commonly found in homes built before 1978 and many industrial paints today still contain lead. Lead overexposure is one of the leading causes of workplace illnesses in the United States. The Cornell University Lead Management Program provides information and requires the use of safe work practices for all employees engaged in work that may expose them to lead hazards. The Lead Management Program helps ensure compliance with the OSHA Lead in Construction standard, 29 CFR 1926.62 and the EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule 40 CFR 745.
Lead exposure can occur through the inhalation or ingestion of lead containing dust that is generated during construction, repair or renovation activities. The primary lead hazard on campus involves the disturbance of lead-based paint. Paint must be tested in order to determine if it contains lead and paint that has not been tested must be assumed to contain lead. Additional materials on campus that may contain lead include lead solder, glazings, stained glass, sink liners, sink traps, fume hood counterweights, roofing materials, gutters and downspouts.