Indicator Report - Blood Lead in Adults
Why Is This Important?All persons are exposed to lead in the environment, a significant source of lead exposure for some adults may be their workplace environment. The current occupational health protection standards require medical intervention and occupational exposure control for non-agriculturally related cases of repeated blood lead concentration repeatedly exceeding 50 ug/dL or exceeding 60 ug/dL (Code of Federal Regulations 29:1910.1025). However, adverse health effects in adults with elevated blood lead levels less than the national health protection standards have been noted. Also, adults that are being exposed to lead at the workplace may bring home the leaded dust on their clothes, shoes, etc. and possibly expose other family members if precautionary measures are not taken.
Lead-contaminated water, soil, and paint have been recognized as potential sources of children's lead exposure. Dust from deteriorating lead-based paint is considered to be the largest contributor to the lead problem. Until the 1950s, many homes were painted inside and out with leaded paints. Lead began to fall from favor in the 1950s, but was still commonly used until it was banned from use in homes after 1977. Because of the long term use of lead-based paints, many homes in the United States contain surfaces with paint, which is now peeling, chalking, flaking, or wearing away. The dust or paint chips contain high levels of lead that easily find ways into the mouths of young children. A particular problem has emerged due to the large number of homes with lead-based paints which are now undergoing renovation/remodeling. Often the dust created by this work has high lead levels which are readily absorbed by children's developing bodies and those persons performing the renovation/remodeling, if safe work practices are not followed.
Data NotesPrevalence is calculated as (number of cases with an elevated blood lead level per number of adult individuals employed in non-agricultural jobs) x 100,000. Prevalence for 1997 was re-calculated based on final population data. 1998 employment data is estimated from the growth rate during the previous year.
Data SourcesUtah Blood Lead Registry. Environmental Epidemiology Program, Division of Disease Control and Prevention, Utah Department of Health.
DefinitionPrevalence of adults, aged >=16 years old with a blood lead level >=25 ug/dL, per total number of adults employed in a non-agricultural occupation.
How We Calculated the Rates
Page Content Updated On 08/30/2012, Published on 09/07/2012