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Lead poisoning test, BLL
This test measures the levels of lead in your blood.
High levels of lead can be toxic. Complications include abdominal pain, constipation, a decline in thinking, and high blood pressure. Lead exposure can also cause reproductive problems. Women with high lead levels are more likely to have stillbirths or give birth to infants with lead poisoning. Men may have low sperm counts or abnormal sperm.
You may be exposed to lead through your work. Painting, battery manufacturing, and lead and zinc ore mining are a few jobs where lead poisoning has been reported. Although workplace hazards account for most cases of lead exposure, you can also come in contact with lead if your home has lead-based paint or you use lead-glazed dishes or cookware.
You may need this test if your healthcare provider suspects that you have lead poisoning. Symptoms include:
In several cases, symptoms include loss of consciousness and seizures.
Your healthcare provider may also order other tests to find out whether you have dangerous levels of lead in your body. One such test is an X-ray fluorescence test to measure the level of lead in your bones.
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.
Results are given in micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL). The CDC says that blood levels in adults are considered high when they are greater than 10 mcg/dL. The CDC's Adult Blood Level Surveillance Program is a national effort to lower lead blood levels in adults to less than or equal to 10 mcg/dL.
If your results are high, it means you may have lead poisoning.
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
Other factors aren't likely to affect your results.
You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.