Interpreting Blood Lead Levels

Lead can cause problems with learning, hearing, speech, and behavior.

If blood lead level is 5 or above:

  • Call Help Me Grow (216-698-7500) to schedule developmental testing (for children under 3 years).
  • Talk to your pediatrician about what to do next.
Blood Lead Value Action to Take
0-4
  • Your child should be tested for lead once a year until they turn 6 years old.
  • Lead levels less than 5 mean there is a low level lead exposure.
  • Call your health department to learn more about lead and how to make your home lead safe.
5-9
  • Your child will need a blood test every 2-3 months until the level is less than 5. Schedule this follow-up testing with your doctor’s office.
  • A case manager will call or send you a letter with advice about your child’s lead level.
  • The other children under 6 years old in your home need to be tested also.
10-19
  • Your child will need a blood lead test in 1-2 months, and then repeat testing until the number is less than 5. Schedule this follow-up testing with your doctor’s office.
  • A case manager from your health department will call to talk about your child’s lead level and will help you learn more about lead.
  • The health department will want to check your home for lead.
20-44
  • Your child will need a blood lead test in 2-4 weeks, and then repeat testing until the number is less than 5. Schedule this follow-up testing with your doctor’s office.
  • A case manager from the health department will talk to you by phone to let you know what to do for your child.
  • Your home may be checked for lead by the health department.
45 or higher
  • Your child must see a doctor or go to the hospital today.
  • Your child must be treated with a special medicine to help lower their lead level. Repeat testing 3-4 weeks after treatment. Re-treatment may be necessary.
  • Your home must be checked for lead by the health department as soon as possible.
  • A case manager from the health department can visit you at home or talk to you by phone to let you know what to do for your child.

If you have questions, or would like more information please call, 216-844-LEAD.

* If you have questions about whether your child should be tested for lead, please discuss with your doctor’s office.