Handling Contaminated Protective Clothing

Properly handling protective equipment is an essential step in reducing the movement of lead contamination from the workplace into the worker’s home and provides added protection for employees and their families.

Workers must not be allowed to leave the worksite wearing lead-contaminated protective clothing or equipment.

  • Disposable coveralls and separate shoe covers may be used, if appropriate, to avoid the need for laundering.
  • Workers must remove protective clothing in change rooms provided for that purpose.
  • Employers must ensure that employees leave the respirator use area to wash their faces and respirator facepieces as necessary. Employers may require their employees to use HEPA vacuuming, damp wiping, or another suitable cleaning method before removing a respirator to clear loose particle contamination on the respirator and at the face-mask seal.
  • Workers must place contaminated clothing that is to be cleaned, laundered, or disposed of by the employer in closed containers.
  • Containers must be labeled with the warning: “Caution: Clothing contaminated with lead.”
  • Workers must not remove dust from protective clothing by blowing, brushing, or shaking.
  • Workers must dispose of lead-contaminated wash water in accordance with applicable local, state, or federal regulations.
  • Employers must inform workers in writing of the potential health hazard of lead exposure.