Talk to your doctor about whether you or your family is at risk for lead poisoning. During a routine health examination, the risk for lead exposure can be evaluated by answering questions about family members' living and working conditions. The doctor may then decide whether blood lead levels should be measured.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) requires companies to test the blood of employees who work with lead. CCOHS sets industry standards to protect workers.
Adults who do not work with lead usually are not tested for lead poisoning. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you may want to ask your doctor about your risk for lead poisoning. A pregnant person who is exposed to lead can pass it to their baby (fetus). Lead can also be passed to a baby through breast milk.
Children should be checked, no matter what their age, if they have been exposed to lead or if they have symptoms that could be caused by lead poisoning.
If the answers to the following questions are "yes" or "I don't know," a lead test may need to be done.
Does your child live in or regularly visit a house or building that was built before 1976? Houses built in Canada before 1976 may contain lead-based paint. This question could apply to a facility such as a home daycare centre or the home of a babysitter or relative.
Does your child have a sibling or playmate who now has or has had lead poisoning?
Does your child live in or regularly visit a house built before 1976 that has recently been (within the last 6 months) or is currently being renovated or remodelled?
Lead screening programs
Your local health unit or provincial ministry of health can provide information on testing recommendations in your area.
Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine R. Steven Tharratt MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
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