Best Practice: Lead Testing
Q: Which blood collection tubes can be used for lead testing, particularly on pediatric patients?
A: BD offers two different types of tubes for lead testing. Both have been FDA cleared for use in lead determinations and are certified to be of low lead content (thereby minimizing the risk of false positive lead results).
K2EDTA Tube with BD Microgard™ Closure (Ref #365974)
||This tube is used for capillary collections from skin punctures
such as heelsticks on infants or fingersticks on small children.
It holds between 250 and 500 μl of blood. The amount of
lead in this tube is certified to be less than one nanogram.
BD white papers offer supporting clinical documentation for this
- VS5343-BD Microtainer® K2EDTA
Tubes Catalog #365974: Evaluation of Lead Using Graphite Furnace
Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (GFAAS).
- VS5344-BD Microtainer® K2EDTA
Tubes Catalog #365974: Evaluation of Lead Using Anodic Stripping
Both of these studies show that the BD Microtainer® K2EDTA
Tube, Ref. #365974 is an acceptable capillary blood collection
device that ensures accurate and precise results for lead analysis
by both GFAAS and ASV methods.
The original style of BD Microtainer® Tube with K2EDTA
(Ref #365973) is not certified to be low lead.
K2EDTA Plus Plastic Tube (Ref # 367855)
||This tube draws 3mL of venous blood and is ideal for pediatric
venipunctures. It is also certified for low lead content,
with a background lead amount of 2.5ppb (parts per billion)
or 0.25μg/dL. The concentration of EDTA in the tube is
1.8 mg/mL of blood, which is consistent with all other BD
Vacutainer® EDTA Tubes.
To obtain copies of BD white papers, contact our Technical Services Department.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the principal sources of lead exposure for children in the United States are house dust contaminated by leaded paint and soil contaminated by both leaded paint and decades of industrial and motor vehicle emissions.1
Exposure to lead can damage the nervous, hematopoietic and renal systems.
Extremely high blood lead levels (>70 ug/dL) can potentially cause seizures, coma
and even death.1
Children between the ages of 12-36 months are most vulnerable to lead
- They ingest more lead due to hand-to-mouth transfer
- Their gastrointestinal tracts absorb more lead
- Their developing central nervous systems are
more sensitive to the effects of lead poisoning
- Meyers, P.A., et al. "Surveillance for Elevated Blood Lead
Levels Among Children - US, 1997-2001". CDC MMWR™, September
- The Screening Policy and Guidance for Preventing
Childhood Lead Poisoning in Arizona. www.hs.state.az.us
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