Water tests show a few homes in Ohio village still have lead

February 9, 2016

Tap water samples taken over the last two weeks have found 30 homes with high levels of lead in a northeastern Ohio village, state environmental regulators said.

The elevated readings above the federal standard represent about 5 percent of the samples tested since residents were told in late January that officials failed to notify them about high lead levels detected last summer.

The state Environmental Protection Agency said it has been following up with homeowners with the highest readings.

"What we have found is that the water coming into the home is healthy and running the tap for several minutes successfully eliminates any detectable lead in the water," said Heidi Griesmer, an EPA spokeswoman.

The agency has been getting daily updates on new test results.

Meanwhile, the Mahoning County Health Department said Tuesday that so far blood screenings have found six people with elevated lead levels.

The county has tested about 230 pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age 6. Lead is especially dangerous to young children and can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Many researchers say no amount of lead is safe for children.

Five of the six people with elevated lead levels were children tested at a clinic organized just a few days after reports of lead in the water surfaced. None of their readings were high enough to require specific medical treatment outlined by federal health officials.

Krystle Welty took her 1-year-old daughter Keagan to their pediatrician last month after a test showed the toddler's blood-level above the level that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers to be lead exposure.

Welty said on Tuesday a follow-up test showed Keagan's blood-lead level was below the CDC threshold and that a test of tap water at their home showed no problems.

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