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Trace Metals Unit - Blood Lead Testing
Information on Testing and Screening Children for Elevated Levels of Blood Lead
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees the Medicaid program, requires blood lead screening for all Medicaid enrolled children at 12 and 24 months of age, and for any child 36-72 months of age who has no record of prior screening. Screening for elevated blood lead is necessary to confirm exposure because the symptoms of lead poisoning are often difficult or impossible to recognize.
Information for Provider on interpretation of result go to:
For general information about lead and lead hazard go to:
Principles Of The Test
The Trace Metals Unit performs blood lead analysis on three types of submitted specimens: filter paper, capillary and venous specimens. These specimens are obtained via a finger stick or venipuncture and are analyzed using ICP-MS. Once the specimens have been assessed and accessioned, they are treated with a diluent and placed on the ICP-MS. Specimens are ionized by automatically pumping them into the instrument nebulizer, which atomizes the solution into radio frequency plasma, where ionization takes place. Next, a vacuum interface pulls the ions through a series of cones and a focusing lens, where the positively charged ions enter the quadrupole and are separated by their mass-to-charge ratio. These ions are detected by an electron multiplier, quantified, and processed by the instrument's data handling system.
Specimen Collection Instructions, Forms and Examples:
Dried Blood Spot Collection Instructions - YouTube (Source: Greenwood Genetic Center)
Filter Paper Blood Spot Reference Card (see images below)
Labeling of capillary specimen tubes (see images below)
To order blood lead specimen collection kits (unit number 7), complete the Requisition for Clinical Specimen Containers (DHHS-0568)
Orders may be submitted by mail, fax (517-335-9039) or by phone (517-335-9040)
Comments or questions regarding submitted speicmens, ETOR, or to request reprints of results contact the DASH Unit at 517-335-8059.
Matthew Bashore, Data and Specimen Handling Unit (DASH) Supervisor
Comments or questions regarding test results or testing methods contact the Trace Metals Unit
Keri Fisher, Analytical Chemistry Section Manager
Matt Geiger, Chemistry and Toxicology Division Director