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A Story of impact; data into action : NIOSH blood lead surveillance program contributes to a decline in national prevalence rates
  • Published Date:
    July 2012
Filetype[PDF - 741.60 KB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Series:
    DHHS publication ; no. (NIOSH) 2012-164
  • Description:
    "Occupational lead exposure is an important health problem in the United States. Lead exposure causes acute and chronic adverse effects in multiple organ systems ranging from subclinical changes in function to symptomatic life-threatening intoxication. Moreover, evidence indicates that lead exposure at low doses can lead to adverse cardiovascular and kidney effects, cognitive dysfunction, and adverse reproductive outcomes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) established the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) program with 4 states in 1987 to monitor occupational lead exposure. ABLES is a longstanding U.S. state-based surveillance effort that tracks lead exposures among adults currently in 41 states. NIOSH provides guidance, technical support, and funding to state health departments to build and maintain lead exposure surveillance capacity. NIOSH's contributions have strengthened state programs by providing a means for participating states to accurately measure trends in adult lead exposures and effectively intervene to reduce lead exposure. NIOSH, the only federal funding source for adult lead exposure surveillance, provides a total of $812,500 to 40 state ABLES programs each year. One additional state participates but receives no ABLES funding. In 2010, using a new elevated blood lead level (BLL) case definition, the ABLES program reported a rate of 26.4 adults with BLLs greater than or equal to 10 micrograms per deciliter (>̲10 μg/dL) per 100,000 employed.5 These data indicate that lead remains a national occupational health problem, and that continued efforts to reduce lead exposures are needed."

  • Supporting Files:
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