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San Diego Company Makes a Non-Invasive Lead Test

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Aired 5/27/09

A San Diego company has begun marketing a non-invasive test for lead exposure. KPBS Reporter Tom Fudge has more.

A San Diego company has begun marketing a non-invasive test for lead exposure.

Lead exposure can cause brain damage and serious developmental problem in children. Blood tests are commonly used to test lead levels in people. But Confirm Biosciences has developed a saliva test they say is just as accurate. Zeynep Ilgaz is CEO of the company. She says the oral test, called LeadConfirm, gets rid of the pain and the needles. And parents can test their kids at home.

"We provide a collection kit, and swipe within the mouth," she says. "They put it in a prepaid envelope. It goes to our lab. And we get the results in three to five business days."

Ilgaz says LeadConfim test results matched a state blood test, given in North Carolina, 100 percent. The head of the North Carolina lead testing program said he recalled the trial but couldn't confirm the results. A LeadConfirm kit sells for 79 dollars on a Internet drug store site. Tom Fudge, KPBS news.

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