According to CDC criteria, which children should be tested for lead toxicity?

Updated: Jan 16, 2020
  • Author: Pranay Kathuria, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Testing criteria

Most children with elevated blood lead levels demonstrate few, if any, symptoms that immediately suggest lead poisoning. For this reason, the CDC advocates obtaining blood lead levels in children at ages 1 and 2 if they meet any of the criteria noted below. In addition, children aged 3-5 years who have not previously been tested and meet any of the criteria below should be tested. [25, 26] The criteria are as follows:

  • Eligible for or receiving Medicaid, or WIC benefits

  • Living in a ZIP determined to be high-risk on the basis of age of housing and other factors

  • Living in or regularly visiting a house or daycare center built before 1950

  • Living in or regularly visiting a house that was built before 1978 with peeling or chipping paint or that has recent (within the last 6 months), ongoing, or planned renovation

  • Living with or regularly visiting a sibling, housemate, or playmate with lead poisoning

  • Living with an adult whose job or hobby involves exposure to lead

  • Living near an active lead smelter, battery recycling plant, or other industry likely to release lead

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