Blood lead level is a test that measures the amount of lead in the blood. A blood sample is needed. Most of the time blood is drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin. For children, it may be helpful to explain how the test will feel and why it is done. This may make the child feel less nervous.
Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES)
Adult Lead (Blood) - Health Encyclopedia - University of Rochester Medical Center
Lead toxicity is not a problem of the past, nor is it the exclusive domain of children. In fact, lead continues today to pose a serious threat to the health of many U. But there are still pockets of high exposures, such as among workers in certain industries. Industries most affected include lead mining, refining, and smelting; construction work involving paint removal, demolition, and maintenance of outdoor metal structures such as bridges and water towers; auto repair; and battery manufacturing and recycling. When workplaces adhere to the OSHA standard, occupational exposures are usually reduced below levels that cause symptomatic lead poisoning. But as far back as , studies have suggested that significant health effects happen at levels below those allowed by OSHA. Now scientists say the evidence is overwhelming that action needs to be taken to further reduce lead exposures in both the workplace and the general environment.
High levels of lead can be toxic. Complications include belly pain, constipation, a decline in thinking, and high blood pressure. Lead exposure can also cause reproductive problems.
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that doctors and parents follow the recommendations of their state or local health department. Some areas, such as those with older homes, have a higher lead exposure risk, so more frequent testing might be recommended for children who live in those areas. If your area doesn't have specific lead testing recommendations, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends your child be tested for lead levels at ages 1 and 2.