Federal health officials say the lead poisoning rate for U.S. adults has fallen by more than half in the last 15 years, but it remains unusually high in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Kansas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said
that about 6 out of every 100,000 employed adults had lead
poisoning in 2009, down from 14 per 100,000 in 1994.
Lead poisoning in adults is almost always due to at-work
exposures. CDC officials say the decline may be tied to a reduction
in the number of manufacturing jobs that involve lead, lead paint
or lead dust.
The report focuses on adults who have elevated lead levels that
are high enough to cause irritability and concentration problems as
well as other symptoms.