Health department: Man has highest blood lead level in the count - WNEM TV 5

Health department: Man has highest blood lead level in the county

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This 2015 image shows a sample of Flint's water. (Source:WNEM) This 2015 image shows a sample of Flint's water. (Source:WNEM)

In the wake of the water crisis, much of the focus has been on the children in Flint. That’s because lead can have the most dramatic impact on their small bodies.

But when 39-year-old Aaron Stinson started getting stomach aches, headaches and moments of dizziness earlier this year, he got tested. What he learned was startling. While most adults tested in Flint have an average lead level of three micrograms per deciliter, his number is 27. That’s nine times more than the average adult.

Stinson, like most people in Flint, drank from the tap until all the warnings surfaced.

"I'm used to just running the water, drinking the water, brushing my teeth, taking a shower, and going about my business. Never thinking the water was poisoned, so I'm kind of upset and at the same time confused and I'm trying to figure out where we're going to go from here."

He was tested on Feb. 4 and the county health department says his lead levels are the highest they’ve seen, for an adult, in the county so far.

Stinson says the levels could be elevated from bullet fragments still in his body after being shot 20 years ago. But he blames the water because of his recent health issues.

Hurley Medical Center Pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha says whatever the cause, there are consequences for adults with high lead levels.

“So in adults, sometimes you see kidney problems, sometimes you see hormonal problems, immune problems, gout issues, or they could have nothing,” said Hanna-Attisha.

She says the most important thing is for people to get tested.

Stinson says he’s glad he did, and hopes others will do the same.

"Everyone wants to see their children grow up, everyone wants to live a full life according to what our maker wants us to, not a life cut short because I was drinking water."

The Centers for Disease Control says Stinson still falls well below what they call the "action level" where he would require treatment.

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