The two Portland school children who tested high for lead last month were exposed at home, according to Multnomah County officials.
County health officials tested 519 students and staff members at Creston and Rose City Park schools because those are the two schools where lead was discovered last spring.
Communities across the Northwest were shocked recently to discover dangerously high lead levels in their water. How did this happen, and what’s being done to fix the problem?
Two children’s blood tests showed high lead levels, prompting an investigation from Multnomah County. The county says it has finished that investigation and concluded two things: that the kids were exposed to lead at home and that drinking water was not the cause.
Officials offered no further details, saying the children’s parents were concerned that further information could compromise their privacy. Multnomah County has said that household exposures can come from paint, toys, certain hobbies or pottery, for example.
The findings for the Rose City Park children are consistent with what county leaders have said in the past: water is very rarely the cause of lead exposure, and when children have lead in their blood, it tends to come from Portland-area houses.
Recent tests of drinking water at Portland Public Schools have revealed high lead concentrations in all 24 schools where results have been released. That includes nearly two-thirds of the fixtures at Jefferson High School in North Portland.
Two Portland teachers tested high for lead last month, according to the teachers’ union.