Lead Poisoning is Higher in Parts of California Than in Flint

Lead Poisoning is Higher in Parts of California Than in Flint

Lead can be deadly, and it’s being found in Americas kids, where you’d least expect it.

The water crisis in Flint infected scores of homes with contaminated water. Children and adults were, and continue to be, exposed to extremely high levels of lead that have leached into the public water supply.

Related: Is There Too Much Lead in Your Lipstick?

But as the months and years have gone by since the initial break of Flint’s crisis, we’ve learned that Michigan isn’t alone with its problem.

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Lead contamination is something that actually affects many areas across the U.S, and the newest found target is California.

California? Yes, the state known for its sunshine, organic fruit and green living! It actually has more lead in its children in some areas than Flint, Michigan, a new report from Reuters.com indicates.

Since we may normally associate lead poisoning with Eastern areas of the U.S that are often filled with old housing and legacy industry, this may come as a surprise.

Fresno

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The communities that have been found to be the worst hit are located in the Bay Area and in downtown Los Angeles. In Fresno’s 93701 zip code, almost three times the lead contamination that Flint had at the height of its crisis was found in children, the reports says.

Related: Lead Poisoning Strikes Second U.S Town

Truth be told, the lead contamination found in children in California isn’t caused exclusively by lead in water, and so the issue is different from Flint’s. But the result of the contamination is the same.

What’s being done? The California state health department knows about this problem and is testing for it.

The government strives to test children deemed at risk for lead exposure, for example those coming from families enrolled in Medicaid or living in older housing, and hopefully this can help.

Risk Factors

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Risk factors for exposure to lead include living with crumbling old paint, contaminated soil, tainted drinking water and other lead hazards like contaminated cosmetics, old toys with lead paint, and contaminated soil.

Related: What Are the Long-Term Effects of the Flint Water Debacle?

The problem is, having too much lead in your body or the body of your child can cause developmental delays, learning difficulties, seizures and weight loss, among other things.

Autism, attention deficit disorder and dyslexia have all been associated with an elevated exposure to lead.

And in the extreme, lead poisoning can actually kill you.

What can you do to stay safe? No matter where you live, have your water tested for lead. It’s easy to do using a kit you can order off of Amazon or buy at your local hardware store.

If you’re concerned, you can also talk to a doctor about completing a blood test to check for lead in the body. It’s a simple test, and good to do.

If high levels of lead ARE found, treatment is available, and you can take action to change your living circumstances, for a healthy future.

There are no safe levels of lead in blood, but change is possible.

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