Synonyms: Pb, Blood

Why It Is Done

Evaluate the concentration of lead in your blood. Used to screen for exposure to harmful levels of lead Monitor the effectiveness of treatment and to confirm that lead levels are decreasing over time. Family members also may be screened because lead can be carried home on clothing.

Test Overview

This test measures the current lead level in your blood. Lead is a soft metal present in the environment. When it is inhaled or ingested, lead can cause damage to the brain, organs, and nervous system. Even at low levels, it can cause irreversible damage without causing symptoms. Lead exposure can cause weakness, anemia, nausea, weight loss, fatigue, headaches, stomach pain, and kidney, nervous system, and reproductive dysfunction. Lead can be passed from mothers to their unborn children and can cause miscarriages and premature births.

How To Prepare

Patient should avoid seafood and red wine 72 hours prior to collection