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200 kids have elevated blood-lead levels in Mich

Posted: 6:44 PM, Jan 27, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-27 23:44:59Z
200 kids have elevated blood-lead levels in Mich

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said officials have identified about 200 Flint children with elevated blood-lead levels since the city's water crisis was exposed in the fall.

Snyder disclosed the figure during a tele-town hall event Wednesday with nearly 8,000 listeners. He said the state is working to ensure all kids are tested.

Michigan officials had said earlier Wednesday that water samples in Flint are "trending better," but that it's too soon to give the go-ahead to residents to resume drinking unfiltered water.

Department of Environmental Quality Interim Director Keith Creagh said the test results are not statistically valid because there's no guarantee homeowner-provided samples are coming from homes at higher risk. Further testing continues.

The Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee is a 17-member panel that will make recommendations regarding the health of people exposed to lead, study Flint's water infrastructure, and establish ways to improve communication between local and state government.

Snyder told committee members it presents an opportunity to "leverage the resources" each brings.

The committee includes Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards, who has extensively studied the issue in Flint and elsewhere, and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who is credited with bringing the problem to the public's attention after state agencies initially dismissed her concerns.

Michigan officials say that water samples in Flint are "trending better," but that it's too soon to give the go-ahead to residents to resume drinking unfiltered water.

Residents have been using bottled water and filters because the improperly treated supply was tainted with lead from pipes leading to old homes.

State Department of Environmental Quality Interim Director Keith Creagh stressed Wednesday that the test results are not statistically valid because there's no guarantee homeowner-provided samples are coming from homes at higher risk. Further testing continues.

Creagh says officials are studying whether the city's pipes are being recoated with enough of a lining of phosphates to keep the lead from leaching.

The state is working to identify newer neighborhoods with no lead pipes, so those residents can potentially get the all-clear on their water sooner.