Study: Pa. Kids Have 6th Highest Elevated Blood Lead Levels

BUTLER (KDKA) — A new study shows Pennsylvania is still struggling with lead problems. Researchers found Pennsylvania has the 6th-highest rate of kids with elevated lead levels.

This week, the Butler Area School District announced its plan to re-open Summit Elementary this fall.

However, it will be with public water, not the well water that contained high lead levels and shut down the school in January.

“I feel okay with him being there but I said before I left I love you don’t you touch this water,” parent Stephanie Scott said.

The problems at Summit are just the symptom of a much bigger lead problem addressed earlier this week. It’s not about the water.

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“I want to be sure that we don’t lose focus on what we know is dangerous to children. When the homes of these children in my practice were evaluated, regardless if the year was 2005 or 2016, the culprits of the poisoning in each home were always identified as paint,” Hilltop Community Healthcare Dr. Amy Nevin said.

A new study in the journal “Pediatrics” used data from 2010, and found four places in Allegheny County that have the highest rates of children with lead in their blood — Monroeville, Wilkinsburg, Plum and much of Pittsburgh.

But the head of the county health department said things have gotten better since 2010.

“We have been seeing a downward trend in the number of children who have what we consider to be lead toxicity,” Allegheny County Health Department Dr. Karen Hacker said.

The fight continues to clean up homes in Allegheny County.

This week, leaders kicked off the “Lead-Safe Homes” program, which allows people to have their homes inspected. The program will also assist homeowners in eliminating lead that they find.

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