Washington State Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance -ABLES

Lead exposure can cause anemia, nervous system dysfunction, kidney problems, hypertension, decreased fertility, and increased level of miscarriages. The majority of adults with elevated blood lead are exposed to lead at work. Workers can bring lead home and expose their families. Children exposed to lead may exhibit symptoms of neurologic damage, including learning disabilities and short attention spans.

ABLES Annual Surveillance Report - 2016


The goal of the Washington State ABLES program is to prevent elevated blood lead in adults and their families.


  • Identify adults with elevated blood lead.
  • Identify industries, occupations, and activities that cause elevated blood lead.
  • Implement strategies to prevent elevated blood lead and lead exposures.

Case Definition

An elevated blood lead level is defined as 10 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dl) or greater in an adult (16 years of age or older) or a child.

Health Care Providers' Role in Preventing Elevated Blood Lead

Please complete and submit a Blood Lead Test (BLT) form with each patient to provide important information on industries, occupations, and activities that cause elevated blood lead. This eliminates the need for telephone follow-up.

Please fax (preferred) to: 360-902-5672 or mail to:

ABLES Program
PO Box 44330
Olympia WA 98504-4330

Laboratory Reporting

Laboratories are required to submit all blood lead test results to the Washington State Department of Health under Washington State's Notifiable Conditions Rule (WAC 246-101), Elevated blood lead results must be reported within 2 days. Non-elevated blood lead levels must be reported monthly.

Prevention Materials

Elevated Blood Lead Prevention Resources

Occupational Lead Exposure Alerts

Take home lead prevention