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College of Human Medicine


Surveillance of Lead Exposure in Michigan (Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance-ABLES)


Blood lead levels of Michigan residents, including children, have been monitored by the state since 1992. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)  promulgated regulations effective October 11, 1997 that require laboratories to submit blood lead lab reports of both children and adults for ALL blood lead testing done on Michigan residents.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) compiles adult blood lead levels as part of the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) Program. The majority of states participate in this program. Elevated blood lead levels are identified primarily from reports from clinical laboratories.                         

If an adult works with lead, all children under the age of 6 who live or frequently visit the adult's home should be tested because "take-home" lead can be brought home on clothes and footwear. See our guidance for local health departments in creating a program to target and prevent take-home lead exposures.



 updated 7/13/2018