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Gresham Library offers free blood test for lead

Lead poisoning can cause brain damage, other ills -

FILE PHOTO - The testing will be from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the library, 385 N.W. Miller Ave. The Gresham Library is hosting a free clinic to test for lead in the blood of children ages 6 and younger, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and school-aged children who do not have a health care provider.

The testing will be from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the library, 385 N.W. Miller Ave.

Reservations are not required. For more information call 503-988-5387.

Lead poisoning can cause brain damage, lower intelligence and lead to behavior and learning problems and hyperactivity, according to the Oregon Health Authority. Except in severe cases, people rarely have noticeable symptoms and testing the blood is the only way to know if there are problems.

The test offered at the library is a quick and simple finger-prick administered by professionals from the Multnomah County Health Department and takes only a few minutes. Folks getting the test will receive immediate results and information about preventing lead poisoning.

Lead poisoning has been in the news lately with some local schools finding high levels of lead in water. School districts followed guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency for testing the water. Regulations call for there to be no more than 20 parts per billion of lead in drinking water.

Gresham-Barlow, Reynolds, Centennial and Corbett school districts posted information and results of the testing in their schools on district web sites.

Despite the recent concerns over lead in water, exposure to dust from lead paint is the most common way people come in contact with lead, according to the OHA. Lead has also been found in some children’s toys and jewelry.

For information about the health effects of lead and how to check for lead in your home, visit the Multnomah County Health Department’s website: leadline.org.

If you have additional questions, call the Multnomah County Lead Hotline at 503-988-4000, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..