Lead, Capillary Whole Blood (LEDCAP)  

IMPORTANT! Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to NPHL@unmc.edu or call (402) 559-9444.

NPHL has moved to an electronic ordering system, NUlirt, and it is now the preferred method to order all tests. Once ordered, print a "batch list" (see NUlirt Guide).

Forms Required - Nulirt batch list or NPHL Test Request Form (completed in entirety) must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history. Testing will not be performed without all required information.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459 for further clarification.


Test: Lead, Capillary Whole Blood (LEDCAP)  
Method: ICP-MS  
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Friday by 09:00 AM  
Specimen: Whole Venous Blood   http://www.reglab.org/reglab/assets/File/UNMC%20Blood%20Spot%20Lead%20Collection%20ver2015(1).pdf  
Collection Device: EDTA (Lavendar) tube or EDTA (Lavendar) microtainer NPHL will only accept microtainer specimens collected in Aperek #1031056 or BD #363706 500 µg/dL K2EDTA tubes.    
Volume: Minimum Volume: 0.3 mL  

Ambient or 2-8 ºC

Unacceptable: Clotted or frozen specimen  
Specimen Stability: Ambient: 1 week 2-8 ºC: 6 months  
Reference Interval:
<=3.5 µg/dL for children and adults
Notification rage >25.0µg/dL  
Critical range >45.0µg/dL  
Reportable Disease: All resuts greater than 10 µg/dL from Nebraska are reported to the Nebraska Department of Health through the Douglas County Health Department.  
Comments: Interpretive Data:  CDC Blood Lead Reference Value: 3.5 µg/dL
  • CDC classification in children (<=15 years of age):= 10µg/dL or as indicated by local health dept. 20-44µg/dL: Same as above. Complete history and physical exam, assess for signs and symptoms. 45µg/dL or higher: Same as above. Medical intervention including physical and neurological exam. Consider chelation therapy. Contact state or local health dept. 
  • CDC Classification in Adults (>=16 years of age):
    • <3.5 ug/dL: No action needed. Monitor BLL if ongoing exposure
    • 3.5-9 ug/dL: Discuss health risks. Minimize exposure. Reduce lead exposure for women who are or may become pregnant
    • 10-19 ug/dL: Decrease exposure. Consider removal from lead exposure for certain medical conditions or BLL >10 for extended period. Increase monitoring and repeat BLL in 3 months.
    • 20-29 ug/dL: Remove from Lead exposure. Prompt medical evaluation.
    • 50-79 ug/dL: Remove from lead exposure. Prompt medical evaluation. Consider Chelation therapy with significant symptoms or signs of lead toxicity.
    • >80 ug/g/dL: remove from lead exposure. Urgent medical evaluation. Probably Chelation therapy. 
  • Source for children: "Recommended Actions Based on Blood Lead Level, CDC, 2021."
  • Source for adults: "Recommendations for Medical Management of Adult Lead Exposure, environmental Health Perspectives, 2007"
Revised: 5/9/2023 
If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459.