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December 17, 2010

NIOSH Launches Lead Hazard Database

A new interactive database from NIOSH provides information on cases of elevated blood lead levels in adults, and tracks trends in those cases over time. It also allows users to easily search and sort the data to identify and monitor lead overexposures.

ABLES (Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance database) is a state-based surveillance program of laboratory-reported adult blood lead levels. In the U.S., the vast majority of reported elevated blood lead levels have been work related.

Recent research has led to increased concerns about the toxicity of lead at low doses. Reflecting this increased concern, the ABLES program updated its case definition for an elevated BLL to a blood lead concentration > =10 µg/dL in 2009. ABLES data shows more than 6,000 adults with BLL > = 25 ug/dL in the US in 2008. Pennsylvania and Missouri reported nearly 1,000 cases each and accounted for almost 1/3 of reported cases. The 5 states with the highest reported adult lead cases are:
- Pennsylvania - 994 cases
- Missouri - 971 cases
- Ohio - 462 cases
- Tennessee - 429 cases
- California - 315 cases

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