Description: Lead is a chemical that is poisonous in large amounts. This lead test will determine the level of lead in the blood. If the lead level comes back high and out of range it is important to work with a licensed healthcare provider to treat the excess amount along with identifying the source and doing what you can to eliminate exposure.
Important: This test differs from the standard Lead, Blood test #599 in that that reference range provided is for industrial exposure.
mcg/dL = mcg/100g for OSHA
(Refer to current governmental regulations for exposure criteria.)
Also Known As: Blood Lead Test, Blood Lead Level Test, BLL Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Whole Blood
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a Lead test ordered?
When lead exposure is a concern, blood lead tests may be required to check individuals in the workplace. Because lead can be taken home on clothing, family members may also be checked. This testing complies with federal and state occupational exposure regulations.
Adult blood lead screening does not yet have a nationwide standard like it does for children. Clinical cut-off values for increased blood lead differ by state at the moment. A national health goal for 2015, according to the CDC's Adult Blood Lead Surveillance program, is to reduce all blood lead levels in adults to less than or equal to 5 mcg/dL.
Adults who work in industries that are known to expose people to lead, such as smelters, lead plating, auto repair, and construction, should be tested for lead exposure. Adults who use lead-based paints, ceramics, or gasoline in their hobbies should also be evaluated. See the article on Lead Poisoning for a list of hobbies that could expose someone to high levels of lead.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established guidelines for workplace lead monitoring. Employee blood monitoring programs must be triggered by the findings of an initial air monitoring program, according to OSHA. If a worker's initial blood lead test result is greater than 40 mcg/dL, testing should be done every two months until two consecutive lead tests reveal a blood lead level of less than 40 mcg/dL. Higher amounts necessitate more careful monitoring.
When a person's symptoms imply possible lead poisoning, lead testing may be done for both children and adults. Fatigue, changes in mood, nausea, extended stomach trouble, headache, tremors, weight loss, peripheral neuropathy, anemia, reproductive failure, encephalopathy, memory loss, seizures, and coma are examples of non-specific symptoms. Although many youngsters show no outward signs at the time of exposure, lasting damage might nonetheless occur. Children with growth failure, anemia, sleep issues, hearing loss, or speech, language, or attention deficits should be tested for lead exposure.
What does a Lead blood test check for?
Lead is a soft metal that is found in nature. Lead can harm the brain, organs, and nervous system when it is inhaled or swallowed. This test determines the current blood lead level.
Lead can cause irreparable damage even at low levels without creating physical symptoms. Lead poisoning in children can result in long-term cognitive impairment, behavioral problems, and developmental delays. Lead poisoning can result in weariness, anemia, nausea, weight loss, fatigue, headaches, stomach discomfort, renal, neurological system, and reproductive system problems. Lead poisoning can be passed down from mothers to their unborn children, resulting in miscarriages and early deliveries.
Lead was once used in paints, gasoline, water pipes, and other home products, including canned food solder. Lead is still utilized in many products and industrial processes in the United States and around the world, despite its limited use in the United States. Lead-based paint and lead-contaminated household dust may be found in homes built before 1978. The soil around these homes could be contaminated with lead as well.
Children under the age of six are the most vulnerable to lead poisoning because they frequently put their hands in their mouths, ingesting lead dust or paint chips. They can also breathe lead dust and eat or chew lead-contaminated food. Adult lead exposure is typically linked to work or recreational activities. When lead pollution is taken home on the work clothes of parents who work with lead, their children may be exposed.
Lab tests often ordered with a Lead test:
- Heavy Metals Panel
- Zinc Protoporphyrin (ZPP)
Conditions where a Lead test is recommended:
How does my health care provider use a Lead test?
The lead test is used to assess the amount of lead in a blood sample at the time it was taken. The blood lead test is performed to check for lead poisoning. It may also be ordered to evaluate treatment effectiveness and ensure that lead levels are lowering over time.
Local lead concentrations are monitored in accordance with state and national guidelines. Screening children for lead exposure is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a number of other organizations. Over the last 45 years, testing recommendations and the definition of an elevated blood lead level have changed dramatically.
To identify children living in circumstances where they are exposed to lead hazards, the CDC utilizes a blood lead level of 5 mcg/dL as a criterion. Environmental examinations to determine lead sources, education of family members about lead poisoning, and follow-up testing to monitor the disease are all recommended for children with elevated blood lead levels. According to AAP standards, children should be tested for iron deficiency and overall nutrition. BLLs will need to be tracked over time until the environmental investigations and remedies are finished. Children with BLLs above 45 mcg/dL should be evaluated and treated.
Blood lead levels are monitored in workers who work in a lead-contaminated environment. It's used to assess both long-term and current lead exposure. A zinc protoporphyrin test is sometimes requested. When lead starts to influence red blood cell formation, the ZPP rises. Although it is not sensitive enough to be used as a screening tool for children, it may be ordered to determine average lead exposure in adults over the previous several weeks.
What do my Lead blood test results mean?
The more lead in the blood, the higher the test result. The amount of lead in the blood, on the other hand, does not always reflect the total amount of lead in the body. This is due to the fact that lead travels from the lungs and intestinal system to the blood and organs, where it is progressively eliminated and stored in tissues like bones and teeth. The danger caused by a given lead level is determined by the person's age and health, the amount of lead they are exposed to, and the length of time they are exposed to elevated lead levels.
Lead poisoning is harmful to everyone, but children are more sensitive. To identify children living in circumstances where they are exposed to lead hazards, the CDC utilizes a blood lead level of 5 mcg/dL as a criterion. Any test results that exceed this threshold should be managed and monitored. Any youngster with a high blood lead level should have his or her home or other surroundings assessed. Other members of the household should also be tested. The elevated lead level will most likely return unless the cause of the exposure - a lead danger in the environment - is eliminated or reduced.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health declared 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood as an increased blood lead level in adults in 2015. Blood lead levels in adults should be kept below 10 micrograms per deciliter, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. When BLLs are greater than or equal to 50 mcg/dL or larger than or equal to 60 mcg/dL in general industry, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration Lead Standards require workers to be removed from lead exposure, and allow workers to return to work when their BLL is less than 40 mcg/dL. If the client is symptomatic at any dose below 70 mcg/dL, removal may be indicated.
Because lead can flow through the bloodstream to an unborn child, pregnant women should restrict their lead exposure to keep their blood levels as low as possible in order to safeguard the developing fetus.
Unless the kid is encephalopathic, most doctors agree that a youngster with a lead level more than 45 mcg/dL should be treated with succimer/chelator in the hospital. Any lead level more than 70 mcg/dL in a child or adult should be treated as a medical emergency.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.