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Adult blood lead epidemiology and surveillance - United States, first quarter 1996, and annual 1995.

Lofgren JP; Fowler C; Payne S; Jung BC; Lehnherr M; Gergely R; Hawkes A; Keyvan-Larijani E; Rabin R; Scoblic M; Falken M; Thistle-Elliot L; Gerwel B; Stone R; Randolph S; Migliozzi A; Rhoades E; Sandoval A; Gostin J; Marino R; Schnitzer P; Ball W; Toof L; Kaufman J; Ingram-Stewart V
MMWR 1996 Jul; 45(29):628-631
The 1996 NIOSH Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) program first quarter and 1995 annual report were summarized and compared to previous reports. Laboratory reported elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) from 23 states in 1995 and 25 states in 1996 were tabulated. First quarter 1996 reports of BLLs greater than or equal to 25 microgram/deciliter (microg/dl) decreased by 8% from 1995 first quarter reports. A 1% decrease in the number of reports in 1994 was seen in 1995 for BLLs greater than or equal to 25microg/dl although a 4% increase was seen in 1995 in the number of persons with this BLL. New cases represented 39% of persons reported in 1995 compared with 46% in 1994, a decrease of 11%. A decreasing trend in the proportion of reported BLLs greater than or equal to 50microg/dl was seen, with 8% in 1993, 6% in 1994, and 5% in 1995, with the proportion of persons with this level of BLL was 8%, 8%, and 5% in 1993, 1994, and 1995, respectively. The proportion of new cases with BLLs greater than or equal to 50microg/dl decreased to 6% in 1995 from 9% in 1993 and 1994. An editorial note emphasized the increase in persons with elevated BLLs and that 61% of the reported persons in 1995 were repeat reports from 1994. Inadequate control and protection practices, retesting of employees with elevated BLLs, and increased employer monitoring were cited as reasons for continued occurrence of elevated BLLs. Qualifiers were mentioned in the interpretation of the reports. The editors conclude that occupational exposure to lead remains a health problem in the United States.
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-exposure; Lead-poisoning; Permissible-limits; Blood-tests; Blood-sampling; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Metallic-compounds; Medical-monitoring
Publication Date
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Journal Article
Fiscal Year
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NIOSH Division
Source Name
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Page last reviewed: October 16, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division