DOH Memo on Northport Lead Screening Results

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November 5, 2015

CATEGORY: News Release
RELEASE DATE: For Immediate Release
RE: Lead Screening in Northport
CONTACT: Northeast Tri County Health District
509-684-2262

In response to concerns over elevated levels of lead in soil and possible human exposure in the Northport area, the Washington State Department of Health and the Northeast Tri-County Health District (NETCHD) collaborated to host a community blood lead testing event on October 28, 2015.

Preliminary test results suggested that a higher than expected number of people may have elevated blood lead levels. Since the test results are preliminary, follow-up testing is needed to confirm these results. People with elevated results were advised to see their doctor for confirmatory testing.

Lead is a naturally occurring metal element found in the environment. Exposure to lead may come from the past use of lead-based paint, leaded gasoline, and industrial mining, smelting, and refining. Lead is dangerous for children because their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do. Their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.

NETCHD will be conducting follow-up case investigations to determine the possible lead exposure source for individuals who had elevated screening results. NETCHD will also be offering another community blood lead screening event in early December, 2015. That date will be announced when finalized. For more information on lead and prevention strategies, please visit http://www.doh.wa.gov/lead or contact Matt Schanz, Environmental Health Director at 509-684-2262.

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