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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Are there any tests to check lead levels in the blood?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14576 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 6 Sep 2016 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I’m very worried about possible lead exposure and wanted to ask you some questions. The good news is that I’m asymptomatic. I feel good. However, I noticed that there are painted chipped pieces of wall or sheet-rock in an air duct upstairs. From what I’ve read online, I think the place I’m renting (and living in) was built in 1970. So that’s before lead paint was banned in the US although I think it was being phased out by then. I’ve only lived here for about 10 weeks, and I’ve been away for roughly 4 of those weeks. But there is potentially a significant amount of paint being blown into the apartment from the duct. I’d like as much info. as you can give me about these questions.
-Can my primary care doctor do a blood lead test? Or would I have to go to a specialist? I called 2 local walk-in clinics but they said they don’t do blood lead tests. Do you think the doctor will do the test if I don’t have symptoms? I’m willing to pay for it if insurance won’t cover it.
-How long would it take to get the test results back?
-If I do have lead in my blood, would that mean it’s in my bones too? Or would not much have made it to the bones since the exposure is short-term?
-How bad are the outcomes of adult exposure to lead? I don’t have any symptoms now and hopefully I’ll be able to get this air duct thoroughly cleaned by a professional. However, I’m worried about long-term effects developing.
Thanks for your help!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
No need to worry for lead exposure as you are asymptomatic.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
First of all be relax and calm. No need to worry for lead exposure as you are asymptomatic.

Answer to your 1st question.

No, I don't think any one will do blood lead test as you are asymptomatic and have low level of exposure. So neither your primary care doctor not specialist will do blood lead test.

Answer to your 2nd question.

Normally, Results are back in 48-72 hours. But this depends on laboratory. If they are outsourcing it then this can take more time, 1 week.

Answer to your 3rd question.

If at all it is there in blood, no need to worry for bone deposition.

Answer to your 4rth question.

This kind of short exposure will most cause any major health problem.

So, don't worry much about lead exposure. Get that thing repaired.
Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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