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For Healthcare Providers

Healthcare provider wearing gloves to perform a blood lead test on a young boy
Department of Health and Human Services

For Healthcare Providers



On October 28, 2021, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the blood lead reference value (BLRV) from 5 µg/dL to 3.5 µg/dL (MMWR 2021). As of May 1, 2022, State of Michigan Medicaid policy will align with this update (MDHHS Health and Aging Services Administration Bulletin 22-11). The blood lead reference value is based on the 97.5th percentile of the blood lead distribution in U.S. children ages 1-5 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

No level of lead in the blood is safe, and MDHHS welcomes the update of the BLRV for clinical management and public health response for children with lead exposure.  As outlined in updated guidance from the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units, health care providers should begin providing follow-up testing and other recommended actions for children with BLL ≥ 3.5 µg/dL. 

Blood Lead Reference Value Resources 

Provider Resources

Pediatric Blood Lead Level Quick Reference for Primary Care Providers

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) Tool Kit

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention (CLPPP) Learning Module - CE available 

MDHHS CLPPP Policy on Definition of Elevated Blood Lead Test Result

MDHHS MiTracking - Michigan Environmental Public Health Tracking

Childhood Blood Lead Testing: Michigan Data Briefs for Health Care Providers

Blood Lead Testing - Impact of COVID-19 (04/2021)

Blood Lead Testing - Update on Impact of COVID-19 (03/2022)

Childhood Blood Lead Testing in Michigan - Data Brief for Health Care Providers (12/2022)

Patient Resources

MDHHS Lead and Health Resources

Adult Exposure to Lead 

Pregnant and Nursing Persons Factsheet  

Lead Poisoning: Know The Facts 

Other Agency Resources for Health Care Providers

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (

American Academy of Pediatrics; Lead Exposure (

The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) Management of Childhood Lead Exposure


Healthcare providers play an important role in preventing primary lead exposure, as well as identifying those at risk of blood lead poisoning.



Important notes on blood lead testing:  

  • Blood lead tests via capillary sampling are for screening only, all elevated capillary samples require venous confirmatory testing. 
  • At a blood lead level of 45 µg/dL or greater, any treatment should be performed in consultation with Michigan’s Poison Control Center. Hospitalization and/or chelation should be considered. Other children who may have also been exposed should be tested. The family should NOT return to the lead-contaminated home. 

Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR)

The Blood Lead Module is a component of a patient's MCIR record. If the patient has had a blood lead test, the results will be displayed in the record, as well as how to interpret the results with corresponding recommended actions.