A blood test is available to measure the amount of lead in your blood and to estimate the amount of your recent exposure to lead. Blood tests are commonly used to screen children for lead poisoning.
Lead in teeth or bones can be measured by X-ray techniques, but these methods are not widely available. Exposure to lead also can be evaluated by measuring erythrocyte protoporphyrin (EP) in blood samples.
EP is a part of red blood cells known to increase when the amount of lead in the blood is high. However, the EP level is not sensitive enough to identify children with elevated blood lead levels below about 25 micrograms per deciliter.
These tests usually require special analytical equipment that is not available in a doctor’s office. However, your doctor can draw blood samples and send them to appropriate laboratories for analysis.