Lead Research/studies Construction Manufacturing Mining, oil and gas Services

Majority of high blood-lead levels are work-related: report

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Atlanta – Lead exposure remains an issue for workers, with elevated levels most common in manufacturing, construction, services and mining, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers examined cases from CDC’s Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance Program during 2002-2011. A total of 11,536 adults were found to have “very high” blood-lead levels, defined as greater than or equal to 40 µg/dL. Among those, 7,076 cases were tied to occupational exposures, almost half of which occurred in the subsectors of battery manufacturing, non-ferrous metal production and processing, and painting and wall covering, the report stated.

Consequences of persistent very high blood-lead levels include reduced newborn weight, anemia, hypertension and kidney problems. The article was published in Nov. 29 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.