Information On Lead Blood Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

What is a Lead Test?

Lead test is a laboratory test which is used to evaluate the concentration of lead in the body and assess the risk of lead poisoning.

The lead blood tests are also used to screen for high exposure to lead and the possible health effects. If you are already getting a treatment for lead poisoning, you may be asked for regular testing to check the effectiveness of the treatment. The test may help establish that the lead levels are decreasing over a period of time.

There are state and national standards of monitoring of levels of lead in the blood. In the United States of America, there are various recommendations and regulatory laws for regular screening of children to test for lead exposure. A blood test for lead is also mandatory in some workplaces where the physical environment entails high levels of exposure to lead.

Procedure For Conducting Lead Blood Testing

The test procedure for lead blood testing is different for different age groups. The guidelines for a lead poisoning blood test are different for children. Children who live in buildings made before 1950 are tested frequently according to government rules. Different states have different rules for screening lead poisoning.

Adults who work with lead, along with their children, are also recommended to have their blood tested regularly. This can help evaluate even the smallest of increases in the blood lead levels. It has also been recommended that immigrants or refugees who are entering into the United States be tested for lead poisoning at the time of entering the country.

Increased Levels of Lead in Blood in Adults & Children

Though increased levels of lead are not healthy for anyone, they are especially harmful for children since they are most vulnerable to lead's harmful effects and toxicity. There are no safe levels of lead for children. If the lead blood test results for a child show any presence of lead in the child's blood, the result could point to cognitive impairment.

For adults, the level of lead in the blood test, below 25 micrograms per deciliter is usually considered to be safe. However, if an adult woman is pregnant, no amount of lead is considered safe for the woman. A person who has more than 45 micrograms per deciliter of lead in their blood is considered poisoned and should be taken away from the exposure. The person should be kept away from lead exposure till the lead levels drop down.

The symptoms of lead poisoning are extremely non specific. A person suffering from lead poisoning may experience fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, blood in sputum and gastrointestinal disorders