Occupational exposure accounted for nine out of 10 cases of very high lead levels in the blood of adults tracked in a government study published Nov. 29.
Half of the 7,000 adults with very high blood lead levels–defined as 40 micrograms per deciliter–because of occupational exposure worked in manufacturing and a quarter were employed in construction, according to an analysis of data recorded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance program and published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In particular, the study found that high levels of lead appeared among employees involved in battery manufacturing, painting and wall covering, nonferrous metal production and processing, and foundry work.
Very High Blood Lead Levels Among Adults — United States, 2002–2011
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Vol 62 no. 47, November 29, 2013