Lead Exposure in US Worksites: A Literature Review and Development of an Occupational Lead Exposure Database From The Published Literature

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BackgroundRetrospective exposure assessment of occupational lead exposure in population-based studies requires historical exposure information from many occupations and industries.MethodsWe reviewed published US exposure monitoring studies to identify lead measurement data. We developed an occupational lead exposure database from the 175 identified papers containing 1,111 sets of lead concentration summary statistics (21% area air, 47% personal air, 32% blood). We also extracted ancillary exposure-related information, including job, industry, task/location, year collected, sampling strategy, control measures in place, and sampling and analytical methods.ResultsThe measurements were published between 1940 and 2010 and represented 27 2-digit standardized industry classification codes. The majority of the measurements were related to lead-based paint work, joining or cutting metal using heat, primary and secondary metal manufacturing, and lead acid battery manufacturing.ConclusionsThis database can be used in future statistical analyses to characterize differences in lead exposure across time, jobs, and industries. Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:605–616, 2015. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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