While the amount of lead used in certain products, such as paint, have been reduced over the last two decades, it is still used in many industries and continues to pose problems. It is especially prevalent in construction, mining, and manufacturing and is often used to make batteries, alloys and other metal products.
Workers can be exposed by breathing it in, ingesting it, or coming into contact with it. Exposure can lead to impairment and damage to the body's nervous, hematologic, reproductive, renal, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.
To help employers battle this persistent problem, NIOSH has launched an interactive, Web-based resource to help identify, monitor, and address harmful overexposures to lead. It includes data on cases of elevated lead levels in adults and trends in those cases over time. It also allows users to create customized data products from the information.
The new resources include information from cases reported by 40 states under the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance program. The ABLES program started in 1987 to help states initiate, expand, or improve adult blood lead surveillance programs that can accurately measure trends in adult blood lead levels and intervene to prevent lead overexposures.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
December 9, 2010
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