Free blood lead screening testing event for Manson children ages one through six to be held May 22

MANSON – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recommends that all children should be assessed for risk of lead poisoning at 12 and 24 months of age.  If risk factors are present, the DOH recommends that a blood lead test be performed.  Risk factors include living in a home built prior to 1978 that may have lead-based paint, living in a household that has income less than 130 percent of the federal poverty income level, and living on old orchard land where lead arsenate pesticides were previously used.  A significant portion of the land in the Manson, Washington area consists of such old orchard land.  As a result, children living in Manson are more likely than average to be at risk of lead poisoning.
The DOH also notes that children in Washington State are tested for blood lead at a rate less than the testing rate in nearly every other state in the country.  During the period from 2014-2018, only five percent of all Washington children under the age of three had been tested for blood lead, and only two percent of such children were tested during that period in Chelan County.  The DOH cites a study that estimates that 89 percent of lead poisoning cases in children in the state go undetected, the highest rate in the country.
The DOH states on their website that “Lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body.  Children six years old and younger are the most affected by lead exposure.  Their growing bodies absorb more lead than adults do and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead.  Lead in young children can cause behavior and learning problems, lower IQ, and hearing problems.  Lead can also cause slowed growth and anemia in children.”
For all of these reasons, the Manson community, with the support of the DOH, is putting on a free lead screening testing event on Saturday, May 22 at the Manson Elementary School gymnasium located at N. 950 Totem Pole Road.  The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until all children who have arrived by 2 p.m. are tested. This event is only for Manson children please, as supplies and resources are limited.  The screening test requires only a fingerstick (administered by a registered nurse) to obtain a couple drops of blood, and test results will be available within a few minutes.  
Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to bring children from ages one to six who have not previously been tested for lead exposure.  For more information or questions about this event, DOH guidance on blood lead testing, or locations of old orchard land, please email MansonLeadTest@gmail.com

 

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