WASHINGTON — Two young children who live at the D.C. General shelter have tested positive for elevated levels of lead.
The children are 9-months-old and 2-years-old, NBC4’s Mark Segraves reports.
“One of the children had that blood test before they came to D.C. General and the other had been at D.C. General several weeks before the lead test,” Laura Green Zeilinger, director of D.C. Department of Human Services, tells NBC4.
It is not yet confirmed that the lead came from the shelter, but Zeilinger says a common area where families eat meals did have chipping paint that tested positive for the substance. The children’s rooms did not have anything with lead.
The common area at D.C. General is now sealed off and is being cleaned and painted.
Zeilinger also tells NBC4 that city officials are testing all rooms at the shelter, starting with those occupied by young children and the other common areas.
“To make sure everybody in there is safe, we’re being extremely diligent to make sure there’s no exposure,” she says.
There are a total of 413 children and 248 families that live at D.C. General. All families are being advised to have kids tested, Segraves reports.
The District Department of the Environment is offering tests over the next couple of days to children living at the shelter.
According to the CDC, there is no safe blood lead level in children.
Below are the symptoms of lead poisoning in children, outlined by the Mayo Clinic:
–Loss of appetite
–Sluggishness and fatigue
–Lead poisoning symptoms in newborns
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