Indicator Profile of Adult Lead Exposure

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.

Adults with Elevated Blood Lead >= 25 ug/dL, Incidence Rate by Blood Lead Category and Year

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Data Notes

2011 denominator data is preliminary.  The CDC Healthy People 2020 strategic plan sets a public health goal of all adult workers having adult blood lead values below 25 ug/dL.

Data Sources

Occupational Health Surveillance Unit, New Jersey Department of Health;  U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; 

Other Graphical Views


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

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: Prevalent and incident number of adults age 16 years and older, with a blood lead level (BLL) between 25 ug/dL and 39 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL), or a BLL greater or equal to 40 ug/dL, in a specified time interval. Individuals with more than one test in a given year are categorized based on their highest reported BLL for that year. Prevalent cases consist of newly reported and previously reported individuals with a BLL greater or equal to 25 ug/dL in the calander year of interest. Incident cases (also known as newly reported cases) are defined to be those individuals who have not had a blood lead test greater or equal to 25 ug/dL in the preceeding 12 months.
Denominator: Estimated number of employed persons age 16 years and older during a specified time interval.

Page Content Updated On 05/21/12, Published on 05/21/13
Occupational Health Surveillance Unit, New Jersey Department of Health, P.O. Box 369, Trenton, NJ 08625-0369, Phone: 609-826-4984, Web: www.nj.gov/health/surv/index.shtml
The information provided above is from the New Jersey Department of Health's NJSHAD Web site (http://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Fri, 18 April 2014 9:07:17 from New Jersey Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, State Health Assessment Data Web site: http://nj.gov/health/shad".

Content updated: Sat, 12 Apr 2014 04:00:50 EDT