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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention - Providers, Labs and Schools

The following section was developed for Providers, Laboratories, and Schools to provide information and resources to increase knowledge and awareness of childhood lead poisoning in Iowa. Our aim is to also help you understand the important role you play in helping to prevent and treat childhood lead exposures. Through these pages you should be able to understand lead poisoning, how to identify risk in a patient population, how to help parents prevent lead exposure, know when and why children should be tested for lead, what services should be provided at each level, how to report test results, and provide recommendations to parents.

The following links will provide additional information on the following topics:

For more information on lead poisoning, contact the Iowa Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 800-972-2026 or online at Contact Us.

NEW - Updated Blood Lead Testing Guidelines and Screening Tool

In partnership with the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy and the Childhood Lead Advisory Workgroup (CLAW), the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (Iowa HHS) has revised its Childhood Lead Poisoning Risk Questionnaire tool and Blood Lead Testing Guidelines. The CLAW is a statewide working group of pediatricians, nurses, public health professionals, housing officials, elected officials, and more that provide input and direction to IDPH on policy and programs related to childhood lead issues.

In recent years Iowa HHS has seen a decline in the rate of testing children for lead, especially amongst children under three years in age. Only 68% of one-year olds and 38% of two-year olds were tested for lead in 2019, below the 75% testing goal established by Iowa HHS for children one and two-years in age. Medicaid requires a blood lead test for all Medicaid-enrolled and eligible children one and two-years in age, while the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend testing for all children at 12 months and 24 months. Updates were made by the CLAW to help increase testing rates for children under 3 years in age, especially children in high-risk areas due to age of housing and other risk factors associated with lead exposures in Iowa.

Who should use the updated screening tool and follow blood lead testing guidelines?

Iowa HHS recommends all medical providers, pediatricians, and public health professionals conducting blood lead screening and testing on children under 6 years in age begin using the updated screening tool and implementing the new blood lead testing guidelines within their practices. A YouTube video was produced to explain the updates and provide guidance on using the following screening questionnaire and blood lead testing guidelines.

Blood Lead Testing Guidelines and Screening Tool

If you would like more information about the screening tool and blood lead testing guidelines contact the Iowa Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 800-972-2026.

State Hygienic Lab Blood Lead Analysis Guidelines & Testing Supplies

Iowa HHS recommends medical providers and clinicians continue testing children during the LeadCare test kit recall and supply shortage. The Iowa State Hygienic Lab (SHL) in Ankeny, Iowa has provided the following guidelines and testing supply forms for LeadCare II users.  Visit the CDC for additional information and updates on the LeadCare test kit recall.

Magellan LeadCare Recall Updates

October 14, 2021 - FDA expands recall of Magellan LeadCare blood lead test kits, Class I recall issued

CDC issued the following Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Update regarding the expansion of recall of Magellan LeadCare blood lead tests due to risk of falsely low results on October 14, 2021.

FDA initially notified CDC on June 24, 2021, that some Magellan Diagnostics blood lead test kits were undergoing a voluntary recall by the manufacturer. FDA recommended that Magellan Diagnostics customers discontinue using all affected test kit lots identified as part of the recall and quarantine remaining inventory. On August 31, 2021, Magellan Diagnostics began notifying customers that the recall was expanded to include additional LeadCare II product lots. The recall now includes the majority of all test kits distributed since October 27, 2020. Product distribution has been paused until further notice, and replacement product is currently unavailable. It is unknown when replacement product will be available.

More guidance and information about the recall can be found in the Official CDC HAN Update Issued.

September 14, 2021 - CDC Announcement: LeadCare Recall Update from Magellan

For the latest information on the Magellan LeadCare test kit recall by the FDA see the links below.  Information can be found on the expanded Class I recall of Magellan's LeadCare II Blood Lead Test Kits, LeadCare Plus Blood Lead Test Kits, and LeadCare Ultra Blood Lead Test Kits for the detection of lead in whole blood.

August 19, 2021 - CDC Announcement: Potential Shortage of Blood Lead Test Kits Following July 2021 Recall

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expressed concerns about potential shortages of LeadCare® test kits used to analyze capillary blood lead samples from patients, following a recall on July 2, 2021. A shortage of LeadCare® test kits may result in fewer children receiving blood lead tests in their jurisdictions.

If LeadCare test kits are unavailable, CDC strongly recommends that healthcare providers not delay required blood lead testing for children. Blood lead testing can be done with either a venous or capillary blood sample, both of which can be submitted to a laboratory for analysis with higher complexity methods. Healthcare providers should contact laboratories for recommended blood collection supplies.

Public Health Considerations and Actions

Healthcare providers should continue to schedule and perform required blood lead tests for patients. A venous or capillary blood sample analyzed using higher complexity methods should be used if LeadCare® test kits are unavailable.

Public health professionals should work with healthcare providers in their jurisdictions to ensure patients receive their required blood lead tests. This outreach should include making providers aware of the need to conduct a capillary or venous test analyzed using higher complexity methods if LeadCare® test kits are unavailable.

By delaying blood lead testing for children due to the unavailability of LeadCare® test kits, children with higher blood lead levels risk not being identified and receiving necessary treatment and services.

If blood lead testing indicates blood lead levels above the current CDC Blood Level Reference Values (BLRV) and/or state or local action level, the healthcare provider or public health official should refer to CDC guidelines or state/local guidelines for appropriate follow-up action.

LeadCare devices should be used according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals. Currently, venous samples are not approved by the FDA to be analyzed with LeadCare devices.

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is available to answer questions. Please use the above "Contact Us" link or call us at 800-972-2026 during regular business hours.

July 2021 CDC Alert regarding Magellan Lead Test Kit Recall

The CDC released a Health Alert on July 6, 2021 regarding the recall of some Magellan test kits used for Point of Care blood lead testing. The CDC alert can be found at

The Iowa Department of Public Health and Human Services Poisoning Prevention Program is available to answer questions. Please use the above "Contact Us" link or call us at 800-972-2026 during regular business hours.