City, County, State, Federal Officials Discuss Report of ‘Slightly Elevated’ Lead Test in NE Fresno

FRESNO, CA – City of Fresno officials are working closely with the Fresno County Health Department, State Water Resources Control Board and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding a report of a test that shows a “slightly elevated” level of lead in a patient’s urine sample.

On Tuesday, August 2, 2016, representatives from the EPA in San Francisco received an email regarding a report of lead burdening for a resident in Northeast Fresno. Consistent with the collaboration and cooperation that has been exercised by city, county, state, and federal officials during the City’s discolored water investigation, the EPA forwarded the message immediately to local representatives of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB,) and the SWRCB immediately advised City and County officials of the report. Federal, state, city, and county officials were in communication about the report within 1 hour of the resident submitting the communication to the EPA.

In the resident’s report to the EPA, there is no information regarding the type of testing that was conducted, the level of lead defined as “slightly elevated,” or information about the person who was tested.

The County reported to the City that it has not yet received any information about the blood level data for this individual, and depending upon the level reported, the County Health Department will take the appropriate action to investigate the environmental conditions that may be contributing to the reported blood lead levels. As has been the case throughout this investigation, the City and State will support the County to conduct a thorough and complete investigation.

The primary authority having jurisdiction for investigating cases of elevated blood lead levels in Fresno County is the Fresno County Health Department. As required by law, testing labs must report all blood lead level results to the State, and those results are then reported to the County. In cases when a blood lead level report for an individual is above 4.5 microgram per deciliters (µg/dL,) the State will notify the County within two weeks of such results, and the County will initiate an outreach and education process with the individual about the blood test results. For blood lead level results below 4.5 µg/dL, the State reports these results to the County on a quarterly basis.

Residents of Fresno that are concerned about their blood lead levels should first consult with their primary care physicians about their concerns, and if additional information is required, residents can consult with representatives from the County’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (559) 600-3590.

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