223303 Toxics reduction and lead poisoning in Massachusetts industry

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Richard Rabin, MSPH , Occupational Lead Poisoning Registry, Massachusetts Department of Labor, Newton, MA
The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) was established to encourage the reduction of hazardous substances in industry through planning and technical assistance. Between 1991 and 2007 a significant reduction in the use of lead in manufacturing, has been accomplished. The Massachusetts Occupational Lead Poisoning Registry receives blood lead reports of adults from clinical laboratories. All companies in the TURI database that use or produce lead compounds were identified, along with their reported quantity of lead per year, 1991-2007. The Lead Registry database was then queried for the number of registrants for each TURI-listed company, by year, who had elevated blood lead levels, => 25 g/dl. Thirty companies from the TURI database were identified that had at least one employee with an elevated blood lead level in one or more years. Between 1995 and 2005 the amount of lead reported by the 30 companies declined fairly steadily from slightly over 4,000,000 pounds to just under 2,000,000 pounds. In that same period the number of workers with elevated blood lead levels at those companies decreased from 83 to 17. Toxics use reduction is considered the most effective method to protect the health of workers from hazardous chemicals. Although other factors may have affected the number of workers who were reported to the Lead Registry, such as the use of engineering controls, the reduction in the use of lead appears to have contributed to the decrease in reported worker blood lead levels.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between the quantity of lead and lead products used by Massachusetts manufacturers and the number of lead-poisoned workers in those companies.

Keywords: Lead, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee the Mass. Lead Poisoning Registry.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.