NIOSH researchers monitor workplace lead exposure trends through the Adult Blood Lead Exposure Surveillance (ABLES) program.

States that participate in the ABLES program provide NIOSH state-specific information related to workplace lead exposure. This includes information on workers’ blood lead levels (BLLs), a measure used to determine how much lead is in a person’s blood.

Using state data compiled through the ABLES program, NIOSH researchers examine workers’ BLLs to assess workplace lead exposure trends across the United States. Among adults with known lead exposures and blood lead levels (BLLs) of 10 µg/dL or more, about 90% had occupational exposure.

The data from the visuals below are available in an Excel workbook. The visuals will be updated as new data become available.

By Year

Please note: In 2011, the case definition for elevated BLL was reduced from 25 µg/dL to 10 µg/dL. Therefore, data for 10 µg/dL was not collected until 2011.

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By State

When looking at this visual, please note:

  • Some states may be missing a year or two of data. In these cases, no data will display for that year.
  • Not all states have adequate resources to determine whether lead exposure is due to an occupational or non-occupational lead exposure. States may be required to follow-up on cases to get complete exposure data.  States without adequate resources to conduct these follow-ups have a higher number of unknown exposure cases.

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By Industry

Lead exposure is most likely in the Construction, Manufacturing, Mining, and Services industries. All other industries are grouped into the Other/Missing Industry category.

Click on the bars in the bar graph to see more detailed information for that industry.

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