Lead testing is used in children to evaluate the concentration of lead in their blood. Blood lead represents the amount of lead in the blood at the time of the test. It is used to screen for exposure to harmful levels of lead. There is no safe level of lead in the blood. Lead can hurt the mind and body. It can make it hard for your child to learn.
How often should children be tested for lead if they do not have an elevated blood lead level?
- The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children at high risk for lead poisoning should have their first blood lead test when they are 12 months old.
- The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children at high risk for lead poisoning should be tested again at 24 months if their blood lead test at 12 months was normal.
- Three to six year olds at high risk for lead poisoning should also be tested for lead if they have never been tested for lead before.
If you answer “yes” or “don’t know” to any of the following questions, your child may be at high risk for lead poisoning, and may need to be tested for lead.
- Live in a high-risk community or zip code;
- Live in an older home;
- Live in a home that has chipping or peeling paint;
- Live with people who may be exposed to lead at work or from a hobby;
- Live or have lived near an active lead smelter, a battery recycling
- plant, or another industry likely to release lead into the air;
- Other children in the family or neighborhood have tested high for lead
The cost for testing is $15.00; if you have a Medicaid card it will pay for the cost of the test.