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Who Should Get Blood Lead Testing?

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Lead poisoning risk.

If you don’t know if your child has been exposed to lead, you can find out if they’re safe by having their blood tested. If any of the following are true, you should have your child tested for lead poisoning. You:

  • Live in or regularly visit a house built before 1950.
  • Live in or regularly visit a house built before 1978 with recent or ongoing renovations or remodeling.
  • Are a low-income family.
  • Have a siblings or friends with an elevated blood lead level.
  • Are a recent immigrant, refugee, foreign adoptee or child in foster care.
  • Have a parent or caregiver who works with lead:
    • Remodeling/demolition
    • Painting
    • Works in or visits gun ranges
    • Mining
    • Battery recycling
    • Makes fishing weights or shotgun pellets
    • Stained glass
    • Pottery
    • Soldering or welding
  • Use traditional, folk or ethnic remedies or cosmetics like:
    • Greta
    • Ghasard
    • Ba-baw-san
    • Sindoor
    • Kohl

Healthcare providers

Consider testing children who don't have risk factors if they:

  • Have parents with concerns or who request testing.
  • Are older children who could be at risk. Especially kids:
    • With hobbies that may expose them to lead.
    • Who use imported traditional, folk or ethnic remedies or cosmetics.
    • Who are refugee children, up to age 16.
  • Live within a kilometer of an:
  • Have pica behavior.
  • Have neuro-developmental disabilities or conditions.
  • Are part of a family who use imported goods from Mexico like chili powder and tamarindo.

Content from Department of Health's Clinical Algorithm for Targeted Childhood Lead Testing and Expert Panel Childhood Lead Screening Guidelines.


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