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Important Facts for Adult Lead Exposure


Incidence and prevalence rates of New Jersey adults reported to have elevated blood lead levels in a specified time interval.


All reported state residents age 16 years or older with a blood lead level greater than or equal to 25 ug/dL. All reported state residents age 16 years or older with a blood lead level greater than or equal to 40 ug/dL.


Total number of employed persons age 16 years or older for the same calendar year.

Why Is This Important?

Among adults, lead poisoning is primarily a preventable occupational health problem. Lead exposure in adults can cause anemia, nervous system dysfunction, kidney problems, hypertension, decreased fertility and miscarriages. Lead exposure may also harm children and other family members through contamination unintentionally brought home from the workplace. Possible sources of non-occupational lead exposure to adults may include: lead-contaminated dust created during home renovations; engaging in a hobby that involves lead (example: bullet making); food stored in lead-soldered cans or improperly glazed pottery; some traditional folk remedies and cosmetics; and some sources of tap water.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the proportion of persons who have elevated blood lead concentrations from work exposures

U.S. Target: 20.2 persons per 100,000 employed adults

Other Objectives

'''Revised Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective OSH-3''': Reduce the proportion of persons who have elevated (greater than or equal to 25ug/dL) blood lead concentrations from work exposures to 1.2 per 100,000 employed persons. ''Original target: 1.6''

How Are We Doing?

In New Jersey, there has been a trend towards decreasing blood lead levels (BLLs) in adults over time. However, this should be interpreted cautiously for a variety of reasons including an overall decrease in manufacturing in New Jersey, the closing of a large lead acid battery manufacturing facility in the state, and the implementation of an electronic reporting system which more efficiently collects and de-duplicates reported lead cases. Despite these overall trends, the NJDOH still routinely finds elevated BLLs greater than or equal to 25g/dL in workers employed in certain industries. Employers are required to offer annual medical exams to workers who have BLLs greater than or equal to 40 g/dL.

What Is Being Done?

The NJDOH Occupational Health Surveillance Unit identifies high-risk workplaces and provides education and outreach materials to workers and employers. In certain cases, the program may refer employers to federal OSHA or the NJDOH Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) for an enforcement inspection.

Health Program Information

Additional information on surveillance and services related to the prevention of occupational lead poisoning can be obtained from: NJ Department of Health[[br]] Occupational Health Surveillance Unit[[br]] PO Box 369[[br]] Trenton, NJ 08625-0360 Phone: (609) 826-4984[[br]] Fax: (609) 826-4983[[br]] Web: []
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 18 May 2024 15:43:31 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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