Occupational lead poisoning in Ohio: surveillance using workers' compensation data.
Seligman-PJ; Halperin-WE; Mullan-RJ; Frazier-TM
Am J Publ Health 1986 Nov; 76(11):1299-1302
The potential role of workers' compensation data in contributing to a surveillance system for occupational lead (7439921) poisoning was evaluated by reviewing claims in Ohio. Of the 132 claims for lead poisoning filed in Ohio from 1979 through 1983, 92 (81 percent) met the authors' requirements. Claims were primarily for men (97 percent). The likelihood of a company having a lead poisoning problem was predicted from the number of claims against the company. The 92 cases were filed against 30 companies, and the number of cases did not appear to be associated with whether or not the company had received an Occupational Safety and Health Administrative (OSHA) inspection. The likelihood of an OSHA inspection was not correlated with the size of the company. The authors suggest that an active surveillance and intervention system is needed to identify workplaces where excessive lead exposure continues to occur, in addition to OSHA's current general schedule and complaint visitations. Workers' compensation claims for occupational lead poisoning were a valuable source of actual cases of lead poisoning. The predictive value of claims was 0.81. Laboratory reports of elevated lead levels in adults are another source of information. The authors conclude that this technique would help identify workplaces that present hazards, and thus limit the expenditure of resources on workplaces where hazards do not exist or are adequately controlled.
Heavy-metals; Toxic-effects; Environmental-health-monitoring; Occupational-exposure; Metallic-poisons; Epidemiology; Health-survey; Workplace-studies; Disease-prevention; Occupational-diseases; NIOSH-Author
Paul J. Seligman, MD, Industry-wide Studies Branch, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Services, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH R-10. 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
American Journal of Public Health