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Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Adults -- United States,Second Quarter, 1992

In the United States, more than 95% of elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) in adults result from workplace exposure (1). Beginning with this issue of MMWR, CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will report on a quarterly basis summary results of state-based surveillance programs for elevated BLLs (greater than or equal to 25 ug/dL) among adults (Table 1). In addition to the 18 states with blood lead surveillance programs previously reported (2), three other states maintain such activities, including Arizona (physician reporting of BLLs greater than or equal to 25 ug/dL, all ages), Florida (laboratory reporting of BLLs greater than or equal to 10 ug/dL, all ages), and Nebraska (laboratory reporting of BLLs greater than or equal to 10 ug/dL, all ages).

Of the 21 states, 12 currently maintain the data-entry and analytic capability necessary to provide quarterly reports. In 1992, NIOSH will assist the other states in standardizing reporting fields and in providing for timely analysis of their data.

Reported by: B Harrell, MPA, Div of Epidemiology; CH Woernle, MD, State Epidemiologist, Alabama Dept of Public Health. A Osorio, MD, Occupational Health Surveillance and Evaluation Program, California Dept of Health Svcs. N Tolentino, MPH, Connecticut State Dept of Health Svcs. M Lehnherr, Occupational Disease Registry; H Howe, PhD, Div of Epidemiologic Studies, Illinois Dept of Public Health. K Choquette, MS, R Currier, DVM, State Epidemiologist, Iowa Dept of Public Health. E Coe, MPH, Health Registries Div, Maryland Dept of the Environment. R Rabin, MSPH, Div of Occupational Hygiene, Massachusetts Dept of Labor and Industries. B Gerwel, MD, Occupational Disease Prevention Program, New Jersey State Dept of Health. R Stone, PhD, New York State Dept of Health. M Barnett, MS, JE Gordon, PhD, Environmental Epidemiologist, State Health Div, Oregon Dept of Human Resources. T Willis, DM Perrotta, PhD, Environmental Epidemiologist, Texas Dept of Health. L Hanrahan, MS, Wisconsin Dept of Health and Social Svcs. Div of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC.


  1. Rabin R, Davis L, Brooks D. Lead at work: elevated blood lead levels in Massachusetts, April-October 1991. Boston: Occupational Lead Registry, Division of Occupational Hygiene, Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries, and Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Bureau of Statistics, Research and Evaluation, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 1992.

  2. CDC. Surveillance of elevated blood lead levels among adults -- United States, 1992. MMWR 1992;41:285-8.

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