Lead is a poisonous substance, which serves no use at all in the body. From prebirth through infancy, the developing brain is most at risk from the effects of moderate exposure to lead. Some of the daily intake can be passed out of the body, however when the daily intake becomes excessive, elevated blood lead levels can occur. Visit the lead page for more information including health effects.
How to get your lead levels tested
In Port Pirie, blood lead monitoring involves a simple prick of the finger. This sample is then analysed to determine lead concentration.
Lead concentration is measured in µg/dl (micrograms per decilitre).
Regular low levels should not be interpreted as a sign that testing is no longer necessary - it only indicates that current levels of lead in the body are low!
Who should be tested
It is recommended that the following groups of people within Port Pirie be tested:
Pregnant women - should be tested as soon as their pregnancy is confirmed. A mother's blood may affect the development of the unborn child. If you are new to Port Pirie
Young children: should be tested regularly until 5 years of age.
New residents: should be tested if they are pregnant or under the age of 5, as soon as they move to the city. This establishes a base line, and permits future exposure to be monitored.
Home or garden renovators: anyone planning major renovations should seek advice from the Environmental Health Centre prior to commencing work. Where appropriate, blood lead level tests may be recommended for children living in the home.
For further information on lead, including blood lead monitoring contact the Environmental Health Centre or SA Health's Scientific Services on (08) 8226 7100.
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