In October 2010, an employee at Facility A in Alaska that performs fire assay analysis, an industrial technique that uses lead-containing flux to obtain metals from pulverized rocks, was reported to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology (SOE) with an elevated blood lead level (BLL) =10 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL). The SOE initiated an investigation; investigators interviewed employees, offered blood lead screening to employees and their families, and observed a visit to the industrial facility by the Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Section (AKOSH). Among the 15 employees with known work responsibilities, 12 had an elevated BLL at least once from October 2010 through February 2011. Of these 12 employees, 10 reported working in the fire assay room. Four children of employees had BLLs =5 µg/dL. Employees working in Facility A's fire assay room were likely exposed to lead at work and could have brought lead home. AKOSH inspectors reported that they could not share their consultative report with SOE investigators because of the confidentiality requirements of a federal regulation, which hampered Alaska SOE investigators from fully characterizing the lead exposure standards.
Cites: Occup Med (Lond). 2000 Aug;50(6):398-40510994242
Cites: Arch Intern Med. 2002 Nov 25;162(21):2443-912437403