Lead Poisoning in Children - Glossary

Lead Poisoning in Children: Early Detection, Intervention and Prevention


Term Definition/Explanation of the Term as Used in This MDH E-Learning Module
Acute Lead Poisoning Disease A current elevation of lead in the blood with or without symptoms
Blood Lead Level (BLL) Screening Test A capillary (finger stick) or venous blood collection for the purpose of detecting and measuring how much lead is in a person's blood.
Chelation Therapy The administration of chelating agents (chemicals) that have the ability to remove heavy metals (i.e. lead) from a person's body to detoxify that person's body.
Chronic Lead Poisoning Disease The cumulative effects of chronic EBLLs.
Diagnostic or Confirmation Test If a capillary blood draw indicates a person has EBLL, then a venous blood draw must be done to confirm the diagnosis of EBLL.
Elevated Blood Lead Level (EBLL) EBLLs of 10 mcg/dL or more are considered to be elevated. Recently, some organizations and states may use 5 mcg/dL to define EBLLs since there are NO safe levels of lead in the blood and evidence now suggests there are adverse effects of BLLs of 5 mcg/dL.
Targeted Screening Screening for a particular condition aimed at a specific group or subset of a population because of characteristics or risk factors that this population may have.
Universal Screening Screening every person in a given population for a particular condition.
µg/dL or mcg/dL BLLs are measured as micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. µ = a symbol meaning "micro" or in the case of µg/dL, it means "microgram per deciliter" also abbreviated as mcg/ dL = microgram per deciliter. The Joint Commission prefers the use of mcg/dL; thus a gradual change from the use of µg/dL to mcg/dL is expected.

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