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Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance -- United States, Third Quarter, 1993

CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) program monitors elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) in adults in the United States. Laboratories report results of testing for BLLs to state-based lead surveillance programs, and results are compiled each quarter by NIOSH (1). Twenty states currently report results to NIOSH (Table_1). Ten additional states (Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oklahoma) are developing the capacity to systematically collect and/or report elevated BLL data (Figure_1). Programs in 30 states now have or are implementing 1) regulations specifying a reportable BLL in adults; 2) requirements that laboratories report elevated BLLs to appropriate state agencies; 3) protocols for investigating reported cases; and 4) mechanisms for linking case reports with follow-up activities (e.g., educational efforts and epidemiologic field investigations).

Reports based on data from ABLES have not included analysis of trends because of the incremental development of the surveillance system (i.e., yearly addition of participating states) and the availability of complete data for only 1 year (1992). However, the availability of data for 1993 will enable analysis of trends for a 2-year period (1992-1993). Reported by: NH Chowdhury, MPH, Alabama Dept of Public Health. C Fowler, MS, Arizona Dept of Health Svcs. FJ Mycroft, PhD, Occupational Health Br, California Dept of Health Svcs. BC Jung, MPH, Connecticut Dept of Public Health and Addiction Svcs. M Lehnherr, Occupational Disease Registry, Div of Epidemiologic Studies, Illinois Dept of Public Health. R Gergely, Iowa Dept of Public Health. E Keyvan-Larijani, MD, Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, Maryland Dept of the Environment. R Rabin, MSPH, Div of Occupational Hygiene, Massachusetts Dept of Labor and Industries. A Carr, MBA, Bur of Child and Family Svcs, Michigan Dept of Public Health. D Solet, PhD, Div of Public Health Svcs, New Hampshire State Dept of Health and Human Svcs. B Gerwel, MD, Occupational Disease Prevention Project, New Jersey State Dept of Health. R Stone, PhD, New York Dept of Health. M Barnett, MS, State Health Div, Oregon Dept of Human Resources. J Gostin, MS, Occupational Health Program, Div of Environmental Health, Pennsylvania Dept of Health. R Marino, MD, Div of Health Hazard Evaluations, South Carolina Dept of Health and Environmental Control. DM Perrotta, PhD, Environmental Epidemiologist, Texas Dept of Health. D Beaudoin, MD, Bur of Epidemiology, Utah Dept of Health. L Toof, Div of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, Vermont Dept of Health. J Kaufman, MD, Washington State Dept of Labor and Industries. D Higgins, Wisconsin Dept of Health and Social Svcs. Div of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, CDC.


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

Note: To print large tables and graphs users may have to change their printer settings to landscape and use a small font size.

TABLE 1. Reports of elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) in adults -- 20 states, * third
quarter, 1993
                    Third quarter, 1993
Reported BLL    ---------------------------       Cumulative        Cumulative
  (ug/dL)       No. reports   No. persons +     reports, 1993 &   reports, 1992 @
25-39              3,848         2,358              11,261             9,377
40-49              1,256           706               3,163             2,257
50-59                369           222                 788               615
 >=60                171            91                 411               324

Total              5,644         3,377              15,623            12,573
* Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
  New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah,
  Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
+ Individual reports are based on the highest reported BLL for the person during the given
& Data for first quarter 1993 reported from 17 states (Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa,
  Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Penn-
  sylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin). Second quarter 1993 reports
  are from the 20 states previously described.
@ Cumulative totals for 1992 reflect first-, second-, and third-quarter data from 17 states (Ala-
  bama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
  New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin).

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