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Alameda County, CA,

Larry Brooks
Healthy Homes Department
Including the Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

Health Services

Blood Lead Screening

Blood Lead Screening involves taking a small amount of blood from a child's vein and laboratory analysis of the blood for lead content. The lead value is reported in micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL). While no blood lead level is considered completely harmless, lead is everywhere in our environment and most humans have small amounts of lead in our blood. A blood lead level is considered elevated at 5 μg/dL. The most current recommendation for blood lead screening of young children:

  • All children receiving any form of public assistance for medical care, should receive a blood lead test at age 1 year and 2 years. Children receiving public assistance for medical care ages 3, 4, and 5 years of age, should receive a blood lead test if they have not previously been screened for lead poisoning.
  • Other young children at risk because of age and condition of housing, or because of the likelihood of using lead containing products like home remedies or lead glazed pottery, should also be screened at age 1 year and age 2 years or at any age if risk factors increase.

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