My Child/Lead Testing
Should children and/or adults have their blood tested for lead?
The only way to know if you have recent or ongoing exposure to lead is to get a blood lead test.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services considers five micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or more to be an Elevated Blood Lead Level based on the reference levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
People can talk to their health care provider about getting a blood lead test for them and their loved ones if they’re concerned about a recent or ongoing lead exposure.
Please note: Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or act sick. Talk with your doctor about getting a lead test for your child if:
- The child lives in or often visits a home built before 1978
- The child lives with an adult whose job or hobby involves lead
- The child’s caregiver uses home remedies that may contain lead
- The child has pica behavior (Pica is an eating disorder that involves eating items (such as paint chips) that are not typically thought of as food, and does not contain significant nutritional value.)
Having a blood level above 5 µg/dL does not mean the child will get sick, but it does mean actions are needed to remove hazardous lead conditions found in the home. Removing lead hazards from homes can stop further exposure and lower blood lead levels. Talk to your healthcare provider about next steps if you or your child have elevated blood lead levels.
Testing your water with a certified lab is the only way to find out if lead is in your drinking water. Visit Michigan.gov/EGLElab and choose “Drinking Water Laboratory” to learn how to order a test kit. The cost is typically $30 and includes analysis by a certified laboratory.
Please note: A single water sample may not provide enough information to know if you actually have lead in your water, especially if your water has both particulate and dissolved lead. If you have questions about testing your water, you can contact the MDHHS Drinking Water Investigation Unit at 800-648-6942.