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Keywords:

  • environmental exposures;
  • domestic hazards;
  • pediatric lead levels;
  • worker education;
  • occupational lead

Abstract

Studies in various industries have found an association between worker exposure to lead and elevated blood lead levels in workers' children, but the magnitude of this problem is unknown. In an effort to characterize this problem further, a pilot study was undertaken to obtain blood lead levels of children of lead-exposed workers with elevated blood lead levels who had been reported by laboratories to the New Jersey Department of Health. Fifteen workers' families participated in this study, including 28 children. Thirty-two percent of the children were found to have blood lead levels ≧ 10 μg/dl, the level of concern set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for medical monitoring. This finding is in contrast to population-based data collected from the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey, where the overall prevalence of blood lead levels ≧ 10 μg/dl was only 4.5%.