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KDHE report indicates higher blood lead levels in Cherryvale chi - KOAM TV 7

KDHE report indicates higher blood lead levels in Cherryvale children

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The former site of the world's largest zinc smelting company, Cherryvale was recently the subject of blood lead screening among children and adults.

"We were looking to see if there was a statistical difference between the blood lead levels in Montgomery County and Cherryvale and the rest of the state," said Sara Belfry of Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The results show the average levels of lead in Cherryvale and Montgomery County children to be significantly higher than the state and national average.

Cherryvale city administrator Travis Goedken says the research is in its early stages.

"This report just identifies that there is a concern with a higher blood-lead levels, as to what the source is, the report doesn't go into that, some further research will be needed to identify that," said Goedken.

According to officials from KDHE, elevated blood lead levels are due to environmental factors.

A naturally-occurring bluish gray metal, lead is found throughout our surroundings. According to the KDHE, the leading cause of lead poisoning in children is lead paint.

Most of the houses in Cherryvale were built before 1950 when lead-based paint was primarily used."

"Especially in those houses, we do see lead-based painted used more frequently than in other parts of the state," said Belfry.

Officials say that while lead-poisoning is still a health concern, it is preventable. Belfry recommends anyone who lives in an older home, particularly built before 1978, to hire a professional to remove any lead paint.

Proper hand washing and cleanliness are also recommended to prevent ingesting any lead from the outdoors.

The full report from KDHE can be found here.

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