A report is presented of a joint NIOSH and Ohio Division of Safety and Hygiene (DSH) study identifying workplaces with lead poisoning problems. The route of lead (7439921) absorption in the working environment and the characteristics of chronic lead poisoning were described. From 1979 to 1983, 132 claims for lead poisoning, representing 61 companies were filed in Ohio. Of the 114 claims for which medical records were available, 92 (81 percent) were evaluated in the study as being cases of lead poisoning. For the 63 cases with reported blood lead levels, the mean level was 83.8+/-24.4 micrograms per deciliter (microg/dl). Workers' compensation cases of lead poisoning were concentrated in industries that were heavy lead users; for example, battery manufacturers, nonferrous foundries, secondary and primary lead smelters. However, nearly half of the companies represented in workers' compensation cases of lead poisoning were in industries where lead metal and lead oxides are not the primary products; for example bridge painters, manufacturers of electronic components, and a sheriff's office where firing range slugs were remelted. The OSHA lead standard limit was 50 micrograms per cubic meter, with a timetable provided for industries to come into compliance. In addition, workers found to have blood lead levels exceeding 50microg/dl must be removed from lead exposure until their blood level drops below 40microg/dl. The author concludes that if employers and employees work together with the assistance of the DSH, occupational lead poisoning should be eliminated by 1990.