CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Children and pregnant women who were tested for lead exposure may have to be re-tested according to an alert from two federal agencies.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the warning Wednesday that certain lead tests manufactured by Magellan Diagnostics may provide inaccurate results.
The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that parents of children younger than six years old talk to their doctors about the possibility of re-testing. The same recommendation is being made for pregnant and nursing mothers.
The FDA's warning is based on data that indicate Magellan lead tests, when performed on blood drawn from a vein, may provide results that are lower than the actual level of lead in the blood, a problem that may reach as far back as 2014.
The warning includes all four of Magellan Diagnostics' lead testing systems: LeadCare; LeadCare II; LeadCare Plus; and LeadCare Ultra.
Lead poisoning is especially dangerous to babies and young children. With Charleston's number of older buildings painted with lead-based paint, health experts stress the importance of lead screening programs in the Lowcountry. Lead exposure produces no apparent symptoms and often goes unrecognized and can lead to serious health issues.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman Robert Yanity says the agency does not do routine lead testing in any of its clinics, therefore their labs are not affected by the advisory.
MUSC has not yet responded to a request for information about the types of tests it uses to screen for lead exposure.
Click here for a flow chart from the CDC to help you understand if you need a retest.