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CSTE Leads Effort to Improve Blood Lead Reporting
Date:6/15/2009

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Some states are already obtaining reports from laboratories of individuals with blood lead levels lower than 25 ug/dl and share this information with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Adult Blood Lead and Epidemiology (ABLES) Program. ABLES received reports of 12,935 adults with blood lead levels from 10-24 ug/dl who were tested in 2007 in 21 states, compared to reports of 5,419 adults with blood lead levels of 25 ug/dl and above in these same states. These reports are likely minimum estimates of the true magnitude of the problem.

"The current ABLES data for adults with blood lead levels of less than 25 ug/dl reflects only sporadic reporting," Dr. Kohn said. "The result is a significant underestimation of the health impact of elevated blood lead levels in the population of the United States that will be greatly alleviated by the new recommended reporting practices. With more complete reporting, we will have a clearer picture of the true scope of the problem to guide our efforts to prevent lead poisoning. This will reduce the toll of lead exposure on the health of Americans of all ages."

CSTE is a professional association of more than 1,050 public health epidemiologists working in states, local health agencies, and territories. CSTE works to establish more effective relationships among state and other health agencies, especially through its partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also provides technical advice and assistance to partner organizations, such as the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the Association of Public Health Laboratories, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. CSTE members have surveillance and epidemiology expertise in a broad range of areas including occupational health, infectious diseases, immunization, environmental health, chronic dis
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SOURCE Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists
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