Exposures to lead can increase blood lead levels (BLL). An elevated BLL can cause serious health problems. Most adult lead exposures are due to their work or hobby. Workers can inhale lead dust or fumes or swallow dust while eating, drinking, or smoking. Lead exposure can cause high blood pressure and brain, kidney and reproductive health issues in adults. Symptoms of lead poisoning include headaches, stomach cramps, constipation, muscle/joint pain, trouble sleeping, fatigue, irritability, and loss of sex drive. Most adults with lead poisoning don't look or feel sick.
To calculate an adult exposure dose using default values, you would assume a body weight of 70 kilograms (kg), a water intake rate of 2 liters per day (L/day), and daily exposure: D = (C x IR x EF) / BW D = (35 mg/L x 2 L/day x 1) / 70 kg D = 1 milligrams of chemical per kilogram body weight per day (mg/kg/day). But, the blood levels in American adults these days are down around 1 mg/dL, not 10 mg/dL, unless you work or play in an indoor firing range, where the lead levels in the air are so high that more than half of recreational target shooters have levels over 10 mg/dL or even 25 mg/dL. In fact, even open-air outdoor ranges can be a problem.
Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) Lead exposure is an ongoing health problem in U.S. workplaces. NIOSH’s ABLES program examines trends in adult workplace lead exposure to determine where exposures are occurring. Typically, exposure occurs by one of three exposure routes—inhalation, ingestion, or dermal. Inhalation exposure can result from breathing air that is contaminated with particulate matter (e.g., dust), vapors (e.g., volatile or semivolatile contaminants), or aerosols.