Community group says Northeast Fresno woman has tested positive for high levels of lead

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This week, a community group announced that one woman living in the Northeast Fresno area has startling levels of lead in her system.

A Northeast Fresno community group announced this week that one woman living in that area has startling levels of lead in her system. Fresno Citizens for Safe Water claims the results came from a urine test.

The uproar surrounding Northeast Fresno's water is growing louder. Not just because of the color, but what can't be seen in the water.

"We've been drinking water with lead in it unknowingly for a decade longer than we should have," said Holly Carter, Fresno Citizens for Clean Water.

Some neighbors said their worst fears became a reality this week when a community group reported that someone tested positive for lead poisoning. Carter said a woman found higher than safe levels of lead in a urine sample-- and they sent the result to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"A homeowner that is testing at exceptionally high levels of lead, then tests positive for lead poisoning, is a problematic situation."

The Fresno County Health Department said they weren't notified about this case. A county spokesperson told Action News they only receive reports of blood lead levels because urine testing is controversial and cannot be used for diagnostic purposes. We asked the city if they were aware of any cases.

"We've never been requested to be a part of any investigation out of Northeast Fresno," said Tommy Esqueda, Director of Public Utilities.

The Health Department said blood lead levels in Northeast Fresno are no different than other parts of the city. The city's Public Utilities Department said if concerning cases do appear, they will fully cooperate.

"We haven't any reports of anything, this was the first one reported to the EPA and again there is a process in place," said Esqueda.

Carter said the woman's doctor is recommending treatment for her lead exposure and that she does plan on taking a blood test in the near future

"We're really tired of the blame game, we just really want it fixed. Because pregnant women and children under six that are drinking water with lead in it-- unknowingly now," said Carter.

The city said it's been reducing the levels of lead in homes. Currently, there are 41 homes out of the 279 tested with lead above the action level.
Related Topics:
newsleadcontaminated waterhealthfresnoFresno - Northeast
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