I was amazed and outraged by your Sunday article in which Dr. Bruce Dixon, executive director of the Allegheny County Health Department, dismisses the health effects of lead to the workers ("High Lead Levels in Office for Lead Prevention," Dec. 20). In my view an employer has a profound responsibility to ensure the safety of the worker in the workplace. The worker should not have to work in an environment that a reasonable person could construe as a health hazard. Often I have had people tell me, "Don't worry, this is perfectly safe," and they are dead wrong.
I think most reasonable people would conclude that lead levels that pose significant risk to children are also unsafe for adults. Perhaps there is a long-term risk of cancer, or a threat to reproductive health. Instead of explaining that there is no risk, I hope that someone will get on the phone and make some calls and do what needs to be done so workers are not in an environment with high lead levels.
And further than that, I find the underlying attitude troubling -- especially since this department is responsible for health and food safety.