State: 3.4% of kids tested had high lead in blood

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Nearly 4,800, or 3.4 percent, of Michigan children who were tested had elevated levels of lead in their blood in 2015, according to health officials.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released provisional statewide data Monday. The information will identify communities needing interventions such as Detroit, Grand Rapids and Flint — where lead contaminated the tap water.

Lenawee County had the highest rate of exposure — 10 percent, or 104 of 1,042 children tested. Detroit also had a high rate with 7.5 percent, or 1,618 of 21,563 children. The rate in Kent County was 6.2 percent. Kalamazoo County’s rate sat even with the state average — 3.4 percent.>>Online: 2015 provisional data (PDF)

Michigan Chief Medical Executive Eden Wells says parents can reduce children’s exposure to the toxic metal by getting homes built before 1978 tested and having children tested.

Michigan will compare the 2015 rate with past years after finalizing the data.

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