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Lead Poisoning for Adults


Lead can damage nearly every system in the human body, and has harmful effects on both adults and children.  The high presence of lead in our society makes it necessary to keep track of exposures. This helps to keep the public safe and healthy. 

The Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) program is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the results of all blood lead tests conducted on all persons 16 years or older who reside or work in the state of Ohio.  Laboratories and physicians are required to report these results to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), which include blood lead levels; patient information (sex, age, job title, etc.); patient address and phone number; health care provider; and employer.


Once ODH receives these results, it will collect, analyze and report the data on adult blood lead levels by:

  • measuring progress in achieving Healthy People 2020 objective to reduce the number of persons who have elevated blood lead concentrations from work exposures
  • publishing periodic reports summarizing the findings of the registry

  • providing reports to local health departments of workers in their area who have an elevated blood lead level to support local efforts to prevent take-home lead poisoning

  • producing bi-annual data files for the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) program 

  • responding to data requests from state and local health departments, health care providers, researchers, and others for more detailed information about lead poisoning

ODH will also use the results to:

  • identify new exposures and failures in prevention

  • provide referrals to agencies that target on-site inspections of work sites

  • conduct follow-up with physicians, workers, and employers for blood lead levels (BLL) greater than 25 µg/dl.

The Ohio ABLES program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which provides financial and technical assistance to participating states. 

Program Supervisor:  Chris Alexander
Phone:  614-728-0880

Environmental Supervisor:  Pam Blais

Surveillance Contact:  Kelsey Stephens
Phone:  614-728-6816

Case Management/Education:  Kelly Harris
Phone:  614-728-4115

Healthy Homes Coordinator:  Angela Evans
Phone:  614-644-7799

Principle Investigator: John Belt

Mailing Address:
Ohio Department of Health
Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) Program
246 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Telephone: (614) 466-2627 or 1-877-LEADSAFE (532-3723)

Fax: (614) 728-6793

Last Reviewed: 06/28/12