LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 4 no 4 Spring 1996  ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Blood Lead Levels in Workers

And its not only bath refinishers who can find themselves in deep water with regard to lead. Lead is ubiquitous, as the following table demonstrates the continuing problem of work related lead exposure in the USA, in that reported lead levels in adults - presumably mainly workers - have decreased only slightly in 1996.

We thank Dr Leena Gupta, Director, Central Sydney Public Health Unit for sending us the following article from MMWR , October 25, 1996. Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance - United States, Second Quarter, 1996 / 45(42);919-920. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00044181.htm

CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance program (ABLES) monitors laboratory-reported elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) among adults in the United States. This report presents ABLES data through the second quarter of 1996 and compares these data with the second quarter of 1995.

During April 1-June 30, 1996, the 6,305 reports of BLLs > 25 g/dL represented a 7% decrease from the 6,782 reports for the second quarter of 1995

TABLE 1. Number of reports of elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) among adults, number of adults with elevated BLLs, and percentage change in number of reports - 25 states, second quarter, 1996.

Reported BLL (g/dL)

Second quarter, 1996

Cumulative reports, 1995

Cumulative reports, 1996

% Change 1995-96

No. reports No. persons

25-39

5024

3508

10527

9978

-5%

40-49

959

674

2697

2111

-22%

50-59

224

159

554

431

-22%

> 60

98

55

236

200

-15%

Total

6,305 4,396

14,014

12,720

-9%

ABLES data also may be underreported when compared to estimates of the number of adults exposed to lead derived from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).

The findings in this report document the continuing hazard of work-related lead exposures as an occupational health problem in the United States.

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