Detecting lead exposure
Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test
Hair analysis for lead can be used to corroborate blood analysis or to document past lead exposure. If the hair is collected and segmented in a time sequence (based on length from root), the approximate time of exposure can be assessed.
Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.
0.0-3.9 mcg/g of hair
Reference values apply to all ages.
Normal hair lead content is <5.0 mcg/g. Hair lead >10.0 mcg/g indicates significant lead exposure.
Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances
Blood lead analysis has the strongest correlation with toxicity.
Clinical Reference Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature
1. Strumylaite L, Ryselis S, Kregzdyte R: Content of lead in human hair from people exposed to lead. Int J Hyg Environ Health 2004;207:345-351
2. Barbosa F, Tanus-Santos J, Gerlach R, and Parsons P: A Critical review of biomarkers used for monitoring human exposure to lead: advantages, limitations, and future needs. Environ Health Perspect 2005;113:1669–1674
3. Sanna E, Liguori A, Palmes L, et al: Blood and hair lead levels in boys and girls living in two Sardinian towns at different risks of lead pollution. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2003;55:293-299