Thousands of kids tested for lead, officials want to see more - WNEM TV 5

Thousands of kids tested for lead, officials want to see more

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Lisia Williams wants answers. She's worried about what Flint's water might've done to her children.

"Right now not being tested you just don't know," Williams said.

So she stopped by the health department to get her kids tested for lead, same goes for Gabrielle Merrell.

"You want to have that on file. You know our city was poisoned," Merrell said.

Merrell said she knows how lead could affect her child's development. So she wants to be prepared.

"I'd rather just know now what is ahead of me," Merrell said.

Rebecca Phillips got tested in the hopes of protecting her unborn child.

"I don't want my baby to have lead poisoning," Phillips said.

State officials said thousands of kids have been tested for elevated levels of lead. But they say the number isn't high enough.

Angela Minicuci is spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

"We certainly have a long way to go to make sure every child is getting tested," Minicuci said.

Minicuci said more than 5,000 children 6 years and under have been tested. Those numbers date back to April 2014 when the switch was made to Flint River water.

Minicuci urges everyone to test their children so the state knows who needs the most help.

"That allows us to begin the wrap around services that a family or particularly a child might need," Minicuci said.

Minicuci said the biggest reason why the numbers aren't where they need to be is simple. Not everyone can make it to the health department. So the state is working on a way to bring the test to your front door.

"We're looking to create a plan where we have a team from the state health department, the local health department, and the federal government, reaching into the community to offer blood lead testing," Minicuci said.

Williams said she wants to see all parents getting their kids tested.

"We just want to get the message out that it's urgent for our parents to come out," Williams said.

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