Blood Lead Screening Guidelines

Guidelines at a Glance

Criteria for Testing Asymptomatic Children

photo of little boy

These criteria are for testing asymptomatic children at well child visits and do not apply to children previously or currently lead poisoned.

Test all children at 12 months and 24 months.

Test all children ages 36 to 72 months who have not been previously tested.

For children of refugees: perform a lead test on all children, age 6 months to 16 years old, upon entry to the United States. Within three to six months, a follow-up blood lead test should be conducted on all refugee children age 6 months to 6 years, regardless of initial screening result.

Other at-risk populations: International adoptees, immigrants, children of migrant workers, and children in foster care. Also, children diagnosed with pica or special health needs that increase hand-to-mouth behavior.

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Confirmation of Capillary Blood Lead Tests

Capillary levels >5 µg/dL need to be confirmed by venous sampling. The Vermont Department of Health initiates case management for venous confirmed blood lead levels >10 µg/dL.

Capillary Blood Lead Levels

Confirm With Venous Test Within

5 – 9 µg/dL

3 months

10 – 44 µg/dL

1 month

45 – 59 µg/dL

48 hours

60 – 69 µg/dL

24 hours

70+ µg/dL

Immediately as an emergency test

The higher the capillary test result, the more urgent the need for a confirmatory venous test.

The Vermont Department of Health provides education for all blood lead levels >5 µg/dL and case management for venous confirmed blood lead tests >10 µg/dL.

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Other Indications to Screen for Lead

Blood lead testing should be considered part of a diagnostic work-up of any child, regardless of age, with any of the following symptoms.

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Results Reporting

All blood lead results must be reported to the Vermont Department of Health. Most analytical laboratories report directly to the Department.

To confirm that your laboratory LeadCare II results are being reported, contact:

Vermont Department of Health
Healthy Homes Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
Tel. 800-439-8550 or 802-652-0357

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