Effective Jan. 1, 2018, children in Allegheny County are required to be tested for lead exposure at approximately 9-12 months of age and then again at approximately 24 months of age. Children who have not had their blood tested at one of those required intervals must be tested as soon as possible before age 6 or prior to entering kindergarten, whichever comes first. Written proof of lead testing is required for kindergarten.
The lead blood level testing is performed by a capillary test (finger stick) or a venous blood test. The test that is best for your child can be determined by you and your child's physician.
Children are not required to have a blood level test if a health care practitioner determines that blood level testing may be harmful to the child's health. When the health care practitioner determines that blood level testing is no longer harmful to the health of the child, the child should have their blood level tested according to the regulation's schedule or the catch-up provision.
Parents who object in writing on religious grounds or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical principle similar to a religious belief can opt out of blood testing. Parent should put their objection in writing by sending a letter to the child's physician and their school nurse. The letter should state the reasons for opting out of blood testing.