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Test Code LEAD Lead, Blood

Performing Laboratory

LabCorp at Raritian


Atomic Absorption spectrometry (AAS) or inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry (ICP/MS)

Reference Values

Environmental exposure: 0 - 15 years  0 - 5 ug/dL

                                               Adult              0 - 19 ug/dL

Occupational exposure: BEI (R) sampling time is not critical:  30 ug/dL

                                             OSHA Lead Standard: 40 ug/dL

All clients are notified of Levels  5 ug/dL or greater for children under 6 years of age


All Lead above 19 ug/dL for all patients


Additonal Information:

  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following testing schedule for children

  with elevated BLLs (blood lead levels) ona a screening test:

                                       Blood Lead Levels (CDC)


Result of Screening Test

(μg/dL) is:

Perform Diagnostic Test on Venous Blood Within:

*The higher the screening BLL, the more urgent the need for a diagnostic test. A diagnostic BLL is the first venous BLL obtained within six months of an elevated screening BLL.


3 months


1 month to 1 week*


48 hours


24 hours


Immediately as an emergency lab test



Test Classification and CPT Coding


Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Monday - Sunday

Specimen Required

Container/Tube:  Tan lead collection tube(s)   - Lavender top (EDTA) not acceptable.

Pedatric sample: Lavender Microtainer (full)

Specimen:  1 mL of EDTA whole blood

Transport Temperature:  Room Temperature

Collection Instructions:  Venipuncture is recommended. For capillary specimen, cleanse site thoroughly to reduce risk of contamination. Invert several times to mix blood.- Collect in lavender microtainer.( for children only)


Note:  A special request form including patient demographic information is required for processing.              Demographic information required: Patient Name, address, patient phone number, patient race and guardian(for children)

          Clotted specimen is not acceptable.

Computer Interface Code

PDM #  5302549

Useful For

Hematologic consequences ascribed to lead toxicity may be basophilic stippling, mild anemia, and reticulocytosis. Other characteristics of toxicity may include increased urine δ-aminolevulinic acid, increased erythrocyte protoporphyrins, and decreased aminolevulinic acid dehydrase. Lead lines on gums or at the metaphyses of long bones in children may also be present. Early symptoms of lead poisoning include anorexia, apathy or irritability, fatigue, and anemia. Toxic effects include GI distress, joint pain, colic, headache, stupor, convulsions, and coma. Another test that may be used to evaluate lead intoxication is free erythrocyte protoporphyrin (FEP); however, a blood lead assay is the definitive test.

Lead and organic lead compounds have numerous commercial and industrial applications, including paints, plastics, storage batteries, bearing alloys, insecticides, and ceramics. Exposure may also occur through the inhalation of dust containing lead emitted by automobile exhaust. A common source of lead exposure among children is through the mouthing of inanimate objects, specifically objects with paint and paint chips that contain lead. Acute lead exposure is rare; however, toxicity may occur through acute ingestion of a lead salt or acetate. Blood is the preferred specimen by which the extent of an acute or recent exposure to lead may be measured.