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Lead Screenings Begin At Portland Schools

A free lead screening clinic was offered Monday at one of the Portland schools that had elevated lead levels in its drinking water.

Results of the screenings at Rose City Park late Monday night showed two children out of 225 tested had elevated lead levels.

Eighth grade student Maura Kelley came to the clinic with her father, Craig Kelley. She was nervous as she waited for her results. She said she regularly drank from two of the contaminated fixtures.

Clinic doctor Erika Moseson told Maura and her father the screening results.

“Your level is undetectable by our screen, so less than 3.3. (That's) as low as it goes, so it could be anywhere from 3.2 down to zero," Moseson explained. "Action level for anyone your age actually is above 5, it goes up to 10 once you’re hitting the adult. What questions can I answer for you?"

“None,” responded Maura Kelley with a smile.

“Just a relief to get the news," said her father.

Maura was representative of the majority of children who came for testing.

Outside the school, county environmental health director Jae Douglas said homes are responsible for lead showing up in kids more than 80 percent of the time.

“Proportionally, it’s the most common area. Sometimes, we are not able to identify the source," Douglas said. "This is an unusual circumstance, obviously.”

Multnomah County is running another free clinic Tuesday at Creston K-8 in Southeast Portland. County officials may do more clinics, depending on demand.

<p>Doctor Erika Moseson goes over Maura Kelley&rsquo;s test results for lead poisoning and gives her the good news that she passed with no issues.</p>

Jonathan House


Doctor Erika Moseson goes over Maura Kelley’s test results for lead poisoning and gives her the good news that she passed with no issues.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Rob Manning is a JPR content partner from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Rob has reported extensively on Oregon schools and universities as OPB's education reporter and is now a news editor.