SALINE COUNTY -Kansas health officials continue working to determine what is causing elevated lead levels among over 30 children in Saline County.
According to a release from the city of Salina, County Health Department Director Jason Tiller told commissioners during Tuesday’s meeting, “we don’t know where the lead is coming from right now but every possible source of lead contamination is being examined.”
Tiller said that on June 22 and June 23, another 384 adults and children were tested for lead. Of those, forty-two individuals did not identify any risk factors to proceed with further blood screenings.
Blood screenings were also completed during that time that involved 147 children and 153 adults. An additional 42 individuals will be called back to complete the blood screening.
Results will come from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in about 10 to 14 business days.
In March, the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City contacted KDHE about elevated blood lead levels in Saline County.
On May 20, KDHE’s Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics provided an update. During a 15-month period (January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016), 32 Saline County residents were found to have elevated blood lead levels. Of these, 27 lived with the Salina City limits.
Tiller said Kansas recommends that all children be screened for blood lead levels at age 12 and 24 months. As part of Kan Be Healthy Screenings, children on Medicaid are required to be screened at age 12 and 24 months.
For children, cases with results of 10 ug/dL or higher are referred to the health department for case management; adults are referred with levels of 25 ug/dL or higher.
County Commission Chairman Monte Shadwick said many citizens have asked him where the lead is coming from. Tiller replied, “industry, possibly water.” He said they hope to get the answers from information compiled by KDHE interviews with affected families.