Blood testing requested after discovery in school

September 19, 2016 11:41 PM

VOORHEESVILLE – At least one parent has already had her child’s blood tested for lead levels and it appears to be OK. So says the Superintendent of the school district who says his district is covering all expenses to have blood checked of both students and staff after high levels of lead were detected in water at the Elementary School.

Pipes that feed a sink in the school’s kitchen were professionally changed after it was discovered that the patch job made back in May was with a glob of lead-laden solder from the school's hardware cart. The faucet would fill jugs for students to drink from.

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"Knowing that this was only in May of 2016 the amount of exposure they've had has been a little less than what I originally thought,” said Elisa Hyman, a parent of two students in the school.

On Monday night, parents asked questions of a panel that included the Albany County Department of Health and the Bureau of Public Water Supply from NYS. One official, Thomas Brady, PhD, Asst. Dir. Of the Division of Environmental Health, said he had never seen numbers that high in his career and the next readings were much, much lower. The school has 200 faucets. Some water fountains and bottle-fills are usable, some are not. And the district has numbers to compare from 2007.

"Everybody keeps going back to it's the kitchen sink but there were other sources that maybe weren't that high but were well above the 15 parts per billion,” said Todd Britton, who has a third grader. “That's a bit concerning because they're in a different part of the building. They're not even close to the kitchen."

So while they wait to see what they're dealing with, the advisory is for everyone to get their blood tested.

"The kids would be most comfortable going to their own doctor so we are going to do that,” said Supt. Brian Hunt. “We are going to reimburse the co-pays or deductibles for that test. For our employees, we're arranging for testing next week.

"We didn't want to leave any stone unturned because we did have those levels in 2007 but nothing was tested since then."


John Craig

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