Trends in occupational and adult lead exposure in Wisconsin 1988 - 2005

WMJ. 2006 Mar;105(2):21-5.


Seventeen years of adult blood lead surveillance data (37,694 individuals and 71,622 total tests) reveal a Wisconsin success story. While lead continues to be widely used, most Wisconsin industries have made substantial strides toward reducing occupational lead exposure. The improvement is reflected in the reduced number of blood lead levels >40 microg/dL. In 2005 only a single adult blood lead test was >50 pg/dL, and since 2003 none have been reported above 60 microg/dL. However, as long as lead is used industrially, lead-based products remain in use, and new consumer products containing lead are marketed to the public, lead poisoning will remain a threat, not only to workers handling lead, but also to children exposed to lead-containing products already in existence. Wisconsin industry and workers, as well as the medical and public health community, must remain vigilant about new and reemerging lead exposures. Wisconsin's Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance program will continue to investigate unusual lead exposure circumstances identified through statutorily mandated physician and laboratory reporting of adult blood lead levels. However, Wisconsin will need further advances if it is to achieve the US Healthy People 2010 objective of no adult blood lead level >25 microg/dL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Lead Poisoning / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Population Surveillance
  • United States / epidemiology
  • United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Wisconsin / epidemiology