Lead testing

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Test my child

The only way to know if a child has lead poisoning is to have the child tested for lead because symptoms are not visible. It is important to test children when they are young so they can get the right treatment if they have come into contact with lead.

Lead testing guide for parents and guardians

Lead poisoning is diagnosed using a blood test that measures how much lead is in a person’s blood. All children with increased risk of lead exposure should be tested.

  • Children under the age of three are at greatest risk from lead poisoning.
  • Health care providers can provide blood lead testing. Some low-cost health clinics also provide lead testing.
  • If a child has high levels of lead in their blood, you will work with a health care provider to get the medical care needed and make the necessary changes to the child’s environment to prevent further lead poisoning.

For health professionals

Colorado’s lead screening guidelines

Lead screening recommendation resources(NEW! Updated Jan. 2019):

Colorado does not recommend universal testing for all young children. Instead Colorado recommends targeted testing for lead levels in blood based on responses to a risk-based questionnaire. If the the questionnaire indicates a high risk for lead poisoning, children should be tested at 12 months and 24 months of age, using either a capillary or venous blood specimen.

 Guidelines for childhood blood lead case management

Colorado has adopted CDC's guidance on case management for lead. At levels 20 µg/dL or higher, call the Rocky Mountain Poison &, Drug Center for consultation services / medical treatment at 303-739-1123 or 800-332-3073. 

 Elevated Blood Lead Levels Guidance Document

This guide is intended to help local public health agencies and healthcare providers make decisions about follow-up and case management of children with elevated blood lead levels. 

 Board of Health lead reporting requirements

Blood Lead Levels (BLLs) have been a reportable condition in Colorado since 1997. Under the state’s reporting law, all laboratories performing blood lead tests are required to report the results of those tests directly to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

  • If age >,18, report blood lead levels ≥5μg/dL within thirty (30) days of result.
  • If age ≤18, report all blood lead levels as follows:
    • blood lead levels <,5μg/dL within thirty (30) days of result.
    • blood lead levels ≥5μg/dL within seven (7) days of result.
  • Must include the following information:
    • The disease or condition being reported,
    • Patient's name, date of birth, sex, address (including city, county, and phone number),
    • Physician's name, address and telephone number,
    • Specimen type, collection date, result date, numerical result in μg/dL.
 How to report lead test results to the department 

For Laboratories

  • Make sure you are set up for Electronic Lap Reporting by contacting CDPHE's Electronic Laboratory Reporting Coordinator at 303-692-2025 or by email at: Andrew.Horvath@state.co.us

For providers using LeadCare II machines

If you are unable to use one of the methods described above, you may fax your lead test results to 303-782-0338.