The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that the lead-in-construction standard that it implemented in 1993 has reduced construction workers’ blood-lead levels without causing economic harm to companies.

In an analysis published Sept. 27 in the Federal Register, OSHA concludes that the standard should be retained because “certain construction jobs still have high airborne lead exposures, and compliance data in-dicate that there are still instances of non-compliance with the standard.” Federal law requires such retroactive analyses.

OSHA estimates that in 2003, 649,000 workers were exposed to lead at levels that should have triggered application of the standard. Between 1993 and 2003, federal and state OSHA inspectors conducted 4,834 inspections and issued 12,556 citations.