Report finds dangerous amount of lead found in children in the Valley

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According to the California Department of Public Health-- some Valley kids are exposed to dangerous amounts of lead. (KFSN)

Peeling paint in aging homes, imported ceramics, even contaminated soil-- all have the potential to cause lead poisoning. According to the California Department of Public Health-- some Valley kids are exposed to dangerous amounts of lead; exposure that could harm a child's nervous system and impair brain development.

"It is a concern that should not be overlooked and it is a concern in our community and in others. We have a lot of housing that was built prior to 1978 that have lead based paint in there, and that is exposure that we want to mitigate," said David Pomaville, Fresno County Public Health Director.

The report found that nearly 14-percent of children living in and around Downtown Fresno tested extraordinary high for lead-- eight more Fresno County communities made the list.

Local experts say those numbers are from 2012 and current data shows a decrease in lead exposure.

"We are always looking at our data; we are always concerned about any child who's exposed to lead. We know there is no safe level of lead so regardless of what the numbers are in any particular community, we're working with those communities providing outreach and education and case management to ensure that the numbers go down," said Mary Morrisson, Childhood Lead Prevention Coordinator.

Thursday, members of the Fresno County Health Department presented the hazards of lead poisoning to the City Council and provided ways to limit exposure in the home. The department is also seeking funding for abatement programs.

"The county has applied for a little over a million dollars and we hope that would be an annual allocation, but it would require us to re-apply each year," said Jennifer Clark, Director of Development and Resource Management.

Officials said they have already spent millions of dollars to update and remove lead from nearly 250 homes in the area, but that federal grant program ended last year.

Related Topics:
healthfresnochildren's healthleadFresno
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