SEATTLE — Seattle and King County Public Health want more families to have their kids tested for lead.

“We really want to identify kids who have elevated blood-lead levels,” said Amy Shumann, who manages the lead and toxins program for Seattle King County Public Health.

The health department said older homes, antiques, and items from foreign countries can contain lead. Lead exposure can harm a child’s brain growth and have negative impacts on their development and behavior.

“The sooner we find out a child has been exposed to lead, the better we can help them,” explained Shumann.

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On Saturday, Seattle and King County Public Health set up a booth at the Big Day of Play in Rainier Valley to offer free lead tests. Dr. Kathy Partida, a volunteer with the booth, said while many kids tested low, there were children with concerning levels of lead.

“We’ve tried to be mindful of how to explain how this needs follow-up in a timely fashion and parents have been very grateful to hear about that,” said Dr. Partida.

Shumann said the health department is setting up other pop-up locations throughout King County for free lead testing.

Future testing locations can be found at the following events:  

August 22: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Virginia Mason Federal Way Medical Center.

August 24: 10 a.m. -2 p.m. at the King County Fire District 20 Health & Safety Fair in Federal Way.

August 24: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Denise Louie Community Resource Fair at Mercy Magnuson Place in South Seattle.

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