Lead Blood Testing

Lead Testing in Children

The Washtenaw County Health Department offers free blood lead testing for children up to 6 years old with Medicaid or who are uninsured. Please call 734-544-6700 to schedule an appointment.

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Recommendations

The CDC recommends that all children ages 1 and 2 be screened for lead poisoning. Children who are 3 to 6 years old should be tested for lead if they have not been tested for lead before, and if they:

  • Live or spend time in pre-1978 housing
  • Have a sibling or playmate who has had lead poisoning

If you have questions or concerns about your child's exposure to lead, please contact your pediatrician for a lead blood level test.

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For questions about children's exposure to lead, please contact Jane Nickert.

Health Risks of Lead Exposure

Exposure to excessive levels of lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body. The brain and central nervous system are most sensitive, particularly in children. Lead is also particularly damaging to the kidneys, reproductive system, and the immune system. The effects are the same whether it is breathed or swallowed.

Lead Poisoning Signs

A lead-poisoned child may seem healthy or exhibit any of the following signs:

  • Behavior or learning problems
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Headaches
  • Hearing problems
  • Weight loss
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability

In adults, symptoms can include decreased reaction time, weakness in fingers, wrists or ankles, and possible memory loss.

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