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Characterization of lead in US workplaces using data from OSHA's integrated management information system

Authors

  • Scott A. Henn MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati, Ohio
    • 4676 Columbia Parkway, R-19, Cincinnati, OH 45226.
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  • Aaron L. Sussell PhD,

    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • Jia Li MS,

    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • Jeffrey D. Shire MS,

    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • Walter A. Alarcon MD,

    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati, Ohio
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  • Sangwoo Tak ScD

    1. Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (DSHEFS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati, Ohio
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Abstract

Background

Lead hazards continue to be encountered in the workplace. OSHA's Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) is the largest available database containing sampling results in US workplaces.

Methods

Personal airborne lead sampling results in IMIS were extracted for years 1979–2008. Descriptive analyses, geographical mapping, and regression modeling of results were performed.

Results

Seventy-nine percent of lead samples were in the manufacturing sector. Lead sample results were highest in the construction sector (median = 0.03 mg/m3). NORA sector, year, OSHA region, number of employees at the worksite, federal/state OSHA plan, unionization, advance notification, and presence of an employee representative were statistically associated with having a lead sample result exceed the PEL.

Conclusions

Lead concentrations within construction have been higher than any other industry. Lead hazards have been most prevalent in the north and northeastern US. IMIS data can be useful as a surveillance tool and for targeting prevention efforts toward hazardous industries. Am. J. Ind. Med. 54:356–365, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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