Scottish Trace Element & Micronutrient Reference Laboratory

Scotland's specialised laboratory for trace elements and vitamins in health and disease

Control of Lead at Work

This page summarises the parts of the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002, UK as they apply to biological monitoring. A full copy of the regulations is available online.

  • The limit for blood lead is 60 µg/100 ml (2.90 µmol/l). Workers with blood lead levels above this will need a repeat test done. If a level above the limit is confirmed, the employment medical adviser will normally temporarily suspend the employee from that work
  • The regulations stipulate an action limit of 50 µg/100 ml (2.41 µmol/l) above which the employer must act to try to reduce lead exposure.
  • For women capable of bearing children and for young employees under 18 there are lower limits
Category Action Level Suspension level
General 50 µg/100 ml (2.41 µmol/l) 60 µg/100 ml (2.90 µmol/l)
Women capable of having children 25 µg/100 ml (1.21 µmol/l) 30 µg/100 ml (1.45 µmol/l)
Young people under 18 40 µg/100 ml (1.93 µmol/l) 50 µg/100 ml (2.41 µmol/l)
  • For on-line conversion of blood lead values from one set of units to another, click here.
  • For exposure to lead alkyls, urine lead results are now expressed as µg/g creatinine as shown below

Category Action Level Suspension level
General 95 µg/g creatinine (52 nmol/mmol creatinine) 110 µg/g creatinine (60 nmol/mmol creatinine)
Women capable of having children 20 µg/g creatinine (11 nmol/mmol creatinine)) 25 µg/g creatinine (13.6 nmol/mmol creatinine)


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