Lead poisoning rates high in Pennsylvania despite national decline

    The rate of lead poisoning in Pennsylvania is high despite a national decline, and if you’re experiencing symptoms, they’re likely work-related.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lead poisoning rate for adults in the U.S. declined by more than half between 1994 and 2009, but remains high in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Kansas.

    About six in 100,000 adults had lead poisoning in 2009 — eight fewer than in 1994, according to a report from the Associated Press. The report focused on adults with elevated lead levels high enough to cause symptoms.

    Lead poisoning in adults is typically traced back to work environments. The national decline could be related to the reduction in jobs involving lead, lead paint and lead dust.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.