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Blood lead levels
Note: dL = deciliter
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
Adults who have been exposed to lead should have blood lead levels below 40 micrograms/dL. Treatment is recommended if you have symptoms of lead poisoning, or if your blood lead level is greater than 60 micrograms/dL.
In children, a blood lead level greater than 10 micrograms/dL requires further testing and monitoring. The source of lead must be found and removed. A lead level greater than 45 micrograms/dL in a child's blood usually indicates the need for treatment. However, treatment may be considered with a level as low as 20 micrograms/dL.
McGuigan MA. Chronic poisoning: trace metals and others. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 20.
Shannon MW. Lead. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester’s Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 73.
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