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November 2, 1994

Lead Levels in Blood Donors

Author Affiliations

Ministry of Health Taipei, Taiwan

JAMA. 1994;272(17):1328. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520170038029

To the Editor.  —A system for surveillance of elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) in workers in Taiwan has begun to operate. By law, more than 4500 lead-using workers in Taiwan are included in this system. They are required to have their BLL checked every 6 months. All the test results from these laboratories are transferred to the Disease Surveillance Center in Taiwan. The Disease Surveillance Center conducts long-term follow-up to monitor changes in BLL in workers, and enrolls all workers whose BLL exceeds regulation levels (defined as 1.93 μmol/L [40 μg/dL] for men and 1.45 μmol/L [30 μg/dL] for women).Since this surveillance system began operating in July 1993, we have found 445 workers (15% prevalence among 2905 lead-using workers) whose BLL exceeds these regulation levels. About 5% to 10% of these workers with high BLLs had a history of regular blood donation (one person whose BLL exceeded 3.86 μmol/L

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