sign that warns of fuel containing lead

Workplace Lead Exposure Trends

NIOSH monitors trends in workplace lead exposure through the Adult Blood Lead Exposure Surveillance (ABLES) program. States that participate in ABLES provide NIOSH with state-specific information related to workplace lead exposure, including 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.

Use the following interactive visuals to examine workplace-related lead exposure trends by

The data from these visuals are available in an Excel workbook excel icon[XLS – 60 KB]. 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.

* The prevalence rate is the number of adults with elevated BLL (by case definition) per 100,000 employed adults. This rate is calculated as = the number of adults with elevated BLL / Number of employed workers) x 100,000.

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.

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.

Page last reviewed: January 12, 2022, 12:00 AM