Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES)
Lead exposure in adults
Ninety-four percent of adults with elevated blood lead
levels (BLLs) are exposed to lead in the workplace. While adults
with elevated BLLs can experience anemia, nervous system dysfunction,
kidney problems, hypertension, decreased fertility, and an increased
level of miscarriages, they may be inadvertently exposing their families
to lead by brining lead dust home from their workplace.
Approximately 2-3 percent of children with BLLs of 10ug/dl or greater
were exposed to lead this way.
Surveillance of adult lead results -
Wisconsin requires that all laboratory lead tests be
reported to the Department of Health Services (DHS) so that patterns and
trends can be identified. The ABLES program, located in the Bureau
of Environmental and Occupational Health (BEOH) is responsible for
analysis of adult lead test data.
Protecting workers - Resources
Information gained from test results is used on a state
and national level to target workplaces, industries and occupations
where elevated BLLs occur. The ABLES program delivers primary
prevention through education of workers and their employer, provides
health guidance and support to workers exposed to lead, and offers
employer referrals to discover the source of exposure.
November 27, 2012