Skip Navigation
In This Section:
Search the Data About the Data Data Sources

Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance Program (ABLES)


The Adult Blood Lead and Epidemiology Surveillance (ABLES) program is a state-based surveillance program of laboratory-reported adult blood lead levels. The program objective is to build state capacity to initiate, expand, and/or improve adult blood lead surveillance programs which can accurately measure trends in adult blood lead levels and which can effectively intervene to prevent lead over-exposures. NIOSH is currently the only federal supported occupational surveillance for lead. ABLES state interventions to prevent lead over-exposures include (1) conducting follow-up interviews with physicians, employers, and workers; (2) investigating work sites; (3) providing technical assistance; (4) providing referrals for consultation and/or enforcement; and (5) developing and disseminating educational materials and outreach programs.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH)

Data Years Available





Mandatory reporting of laboratory reports to state health departments.

Selected Content


Population covered

Workers in states participating in the ABLES program


ABLES states are required to have a mandatory state requirement that laboratories report blood lead level results to the state health department or designee.

Response rate and sample size

In 2007, the ABLEs program collected data from 40 states. Data on industry and exposure source were submitted by 35 states (8,246 resident adults).

Interpretation Issues


References and related web pages. Accessed August 24, 2010. Adult Blood Lead Surveillance and Epidemiology 2005-2007. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 56(14); 365-369. 2009.