Lead Standard Profile, Blood
The Lead and Protoporphyrin Blood Test measures lead and zinc protoporphyrin levels in the blood to screen for chronic lead exposure.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Lead Standard Profile, Blood Test, which measures lead and zinc protoporphyrin levels in the blood to screen for chronic lead exposure. Lead is a naturally occurring metal that can be found in the earth's crust. It is present in various parts of our environment and is largely a result of human activities such as mining and manufacturing. Lead was commonly used in paint in the past, and some older houses may still have lead-based paint.
Lead testing is a process that measures the concentration of lead in the blood. This test aims to monitor lead concentrations, especially in children and workers exposed to lead in their environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provide recommendations on screening children for lead exposure. In addition to the blood lead test, a zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP) test is also ordered to evaluate chronic and recent lead exposure in adults. The ZPP test is not sensitive enough to use as a screening tool for children, but it may provide insight into average lead exposure over the last several weeks. It may also be ordered when symptoms of lead toxicity are present, but a blood lead level (BLL) does not account for these symptoms.
How may I be exposed to lead?
Individuals may be exposed to lead through:
- Eating or drinking from lead-contaminated sources, such as older home water pipes.
- Working in a job that involves the use of lead.
- Hobbies, such as making stained glass or lead-glazed pottery, that involve the usage of lead.
- Folk remedies that involve the usage of herbs or lead-containing foods.
Exposure to lead can cause numerous health issues. Breathing contaminated air, ingesting contaminated water or food, or coming into contact with lead-containing soil can all lead to health problems. Lead can cause harm to almost every organ and system in the body. In adults, lead exposure can increase blood pressure, infertility, nerve disorders, and joint and muscle pain. Additionally, it can cause irritability and negatively impact concentration and memory.
Lead exposure is especially harmful to children, causing anemia, stomachache, muscle weakness, and brain damage. Even low levels can hinder physical and mental growth.
When should I order a Lead Standard Profile, Blood Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to lead poisoning. Common signs or symptoms of lead poisoning may include:
- High blood pressure
- Changes in mood
- Changes in cognitive ability
- Chronic stomach distress
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Tingling, numbness, pain, and weakness in the hands and feet
- Encephalopathy (damage or disease that affects the brain)
- Memory loss
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