Doctors urge retesting for elevated lead levels

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FLINT (WJRT) - (01/11/18) - Government officials say millions of tests to detect lead poisoning performed over a three-year span could be wrong.

The investigation into that issue continues, but health professionals want to remind parents of the importance of blood lead tests and retesting if you have not done that already.

"Especially with kids who are found to have high elevated lead levels, they really need to be constantly monitored because it has a tremendous effect, not just on their growth and development and not just on their behavior," said Dr. Maria Bernabe.

She is a pediatrician for the Hamilton Community Health Network.

Faulty testing equipment from Magellan Diagnostics potentially showed readings that were lower than actual blood lead levels, prompting federal and state health officials to tell parents to retest their kids.

State officials in May said that about 9,000 children under age 6 across the state and 128 in Flint were affected.

Bernabe said education and awareness over the last few years have helped protect a lot of children, but there are still concerns with any test over level 5.

"Fortunately I haven't really seen elevated levels. I would say the highest I saw was at the level of 6 or 7," said Bernabe.

She said retesting happens depending on how high the level is. She would not wait longer than three months to get your child tested again.

For more information on blood lead testing, call the Genesee County Health Department at 810-257-3833.

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