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Lead, Blood Test (Adult)

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About Our Lead, Blood Test (Adult)

This blood test monitors lead levels in adults. Lead is an extremely common and potentially dangerous type of heavy metal poisoning.

Lead and lead compounds have numerous commercial and industrial applications and can be found in paints, low-temperature fired ceramics, plastics, storage batteries, brass and bearing metals, and insecticides. Individuals may be exposed to lead by inhaling air or dust that contains lead particles or from vehicle 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.

Early symptoms of lead poisoning include anorexia, apathy or irritability, fatigue, and anemia.

Toxic effects include:

  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Joint pain
  • Coli
  • Mild anemia
  • Headache
  • Stupor
  • Convulsions
  • Coma
  • Lead lines on gums or at the metaphyses of long bones in children may also be present

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