Lead is a soft metal present in the environment. When it is inhaled or ingested, lead can cause damage to the brain, organs, and nervous system. This test measures the current lead level in the blood.
Even at low levels, lead can cause irreversible damage without causing physical symptoms. In an infant, lead can cause permanent cognitive impairment, behavioral disorders, and developmental delays. Lead exposure can cause weakness, anemia, nausea, weight loss, fatigue, headaches, stomach pain, and kidney, nervous system, and reproductive dysfunction. Lead can be passed from mothers to their unborn children and can cause miscarriages and premature births.
Blood lead level analysis is performed to evaluate the body burden of lead.