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Oklahoma Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology & Surveillance Program

In 1995, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) began participation in the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance program, which is coordinated by the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The ABLES program is a state-based surveillance system through which states provide information to the NIOSH on reported blood lead levels among adults.

The mission of the Oklahoma ABLES program is to meet the Healthy People 2020 objective of Occupational Safety and Healthy 7 (OSH-7) which is to reduce by 10 percent the amount of persons who had elevated blood lead concentrations from work exposures.  As a baseline, 22.5 per 100,000 employed adults had elevated blood lead concentrations from work exposure in 2008. 

The purpose of the Oklahoma ABLES program is to:

  • Maintain an adult blood lead surveillance system and to collect and analyze data to identify the incidence and prevalence of elevated blood lead levels in the adult population (ages 16 or older).
  • Provide annual data to the NIOSH, which is included in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles regarding adult blood lead levels nationally.
  • To assist the NIOSH in identifying hazardous industries and occupations in order to implement primary prevention strategies for the elimination of adult and related childhood lead poisoning.

Pregnant women and children 6-72 months of age should receive a blood lead test if they live with or come in contact with a person who has a job or hobby where exposure to lead is possible. Also refer to Lead in the Workplace & Outside and Are You Taking Lead Home? for additional information on jobs or hobbies which could result in lead exposure.

More Adult Blood Lead Information

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