Clinics and Departments

Laboratory Services

Lab Dept:


Test Name:


General Information

Lab Order Codes:



Blood Lead; Pb

CPT Codes:

83655 - Lead

Test Includes:

Blood lead concentration reported in ug/dL.


Test Indications:

Lead is a heavy metal commonly found in the environment. Lead can be an acute and chronic toxin. Young children are particularly prone to the affects of lead because they have a greater opportunity for exposure.

Lab Testing Sections:


Phone Numbers:

MIN Lab: 612-813-6280

STP Lab: 651-220-6550

Test Availability:

Daily, 24 hours

Turnaround Time:

1 – 4 days, test performed twice weekly on Monday and Thursday. If a holiday falls on a Monday or Thursday, testing will be performed on the next regular work day (Monday–Friday).

Special Instructions:

See Collection


Specimen Type:

Whole blood


Royal blue (EDTA, metal free) tope tube
Alternate: Lavender top (EDTA) microtainer

Microtainers preferred for minimum volume when drawn into EDTA tubes only.

Draw Volume:

Venous: Minimum: 1.5 mL blood (full tube capacity, preferred)

Capillary: 0.5 mL blood

Processed Volume:

Same as draw volume


Venous samples are preferred by routine venipuncture. Capillary specimens collected with scrupulous hand washing, will be accepted with the restriction that elevated lead must be confirmed with a venous sample.

Special Processing:

Lab Staff: Do Not centrifuge. Samples should remain as whole blood in original collection tube. Store at refrigerated temperatures.

Patient Preparation:


Sample Rejection:

Mislabeled or unlabeled specimen; clotted specimen


Reference Range:

<5 ug/dL

All blood lead results are reported to the MN Department of Health.

Critical Values:

>30 ug/dL




Atomic Absorption, Graphite Furnace


Tietz (1999) Textbook of Clinical Chemistry, 3rd edition, Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, pp 989-990

Minnesota Department of Health Lead Program (2005), PO Box 64974, St Paul, MN, December 2005

NCCLS Approved Guideline C40-A, Analytical Procedures for the Determination of Lead in Blood and Urine, Vol 21, No 9, June 2001

CDC Response to Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention

Recommendations in “Low Level Lead Exposure Harms Children: A Renewed Call of Primary Prevention”, June/7/2012 (reference range).


6/11/2007: Microtainer green top gel tubes are not acceptable containers for lead collections.
10/7/2013: Reference range previously listed as <10 ug/dL.
2/9/2016: Update container types.

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