Friday, March 6, 2015

Changes to pediatric blood lead testing guidelines

Maine CDC has updated its pediatric blood lead testing guidelines and services. Effective March 2015, for children less than 6 years old, providers should:
  • confirm all capillary blood lead levels > 5 µg/dL with venous samples, and
  • follow-up on all venous blood lead levels > 5 µg/dL.
These changes align Maine CDC's recommendations with the reference value for pediatric blood lead of 5 µg/dL set by the U.S. CDC in 2012. The reference value is the 97.5th percentile of the blood lead distribution in children 1-5 years of age in the U.S., which is currently 5 µg/dL. 


Maine CDC initiates a tiered response on all venous blood lead levels > 5 µg/dL. Services range from providing free home lead dust testing, to comprehensive, professional environmental lead investigations.

Providers are reminded that Maine law requires children who are covered by MaineCare be tested for lead at ages 1 and 2 years. All other children less than 6 years old should be tested unless an annual risk assessment for lead exposure is negative.

Visit http://go.usa.gov/3xmfF to get the complete updated confirmation, follow-up and screening guidelines, including the annual risk assessment questionnaire. 

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