ATSDR Announces Eight Free Blood Lead Testing Events for Eligible Children and Women in Missouri’s Jasper and Newton Counties
Eligible participants will receive $20 gift card
LENEXA, KAN. (AUG. 1 , 2022) - The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is announcing free blood lead testing for eligible children under 6 and women between the ages of 15 and 44 in Jasper and Newton counties in Missouri. ATSDR will hold eight blood lead testing events from Aug. 12 through 20, 2022.
The testing events are part of a lead exposure investigation into areas that are contaminated with lead and other metals from historic mining, milling and smelting. Testing will be conducted at the Neosho YMCA or Joplin Public Library on a first-come, first-served basis; private results will be sent to each participant. Each eligible participant will receive a $20 gift card. To make an appointment or ask questions, call 833-678-2724 or email MoLead@cdc.gov.
“As a mom of three kids, I encourage moms and caregivers of young children in Jasper and Newton counties to add this free blood lead testing to their back-to-school preparations,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead poisoning, and this testing is something every mom can do to protect their children. Because lead-poisoned children don’t always look or act sick, testing is the only way to determine if your child has elevated blood lead levels.”
Free Blood Lead Testing for Children Under 6 and Women 15-44
Newton County Testing Site, August 12, 13 and 15: Neosho YMCA, 4701 Chouteau St., Neosho, MO 64850
- Friday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 13, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 15, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jasper County Testing Site, August 16 to 20: Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St., Joplin, MO 64804
- Tuesday, Aug. 16, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Wednesday, Aug. 17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Thursday, Aug. 18, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Friday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This lead exposure investigation in Jasper and Newton counties is being conducted by ATSDR, in conjunction with EPA Region 7, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS), Mid-America Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (MAPEHSU), and many other state and local partner agencies. Learn more about this ATSDR Exposure Investigation.
Lead is a toxic metal that is harmful if inhaled or swallowed and can pose serious health risks, particularly to young children, as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers. Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults because their nervous systems are still developing. Children can get lead into their bodies by putting their hands or toys in their mouths after touching lead-contaminated soil and dust.
Children can also be exposed to lead before birth from lead in their mother’s body. At lower levels of exposure, lead can decrease mental development, especially learning, intelligence and behavior. Physical growth may also be decreased. A child who ingests large amounts of lead may develop anemia, severe stomachache, muscle weakness, and brain damage. Exposure to lead during pregnancy can also result in premature births. Some effects of lead poisoning in a child may continue into adulthood. Lead is classified by EPA as a probable human carcinogen and is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems.
It is important that young children be tested annually, because lead-poisoned children do not always look or act sick. The only way to know if your child has elevated blood lead levels is to have his or her blood tested. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check your child, or you, for lead exposure.
Learn more about lead.
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