SEBRING, Ohio (WKBN) – A Blood Lead Screening Clinic is scheduled for area residents under six years of age, pregnant or breastfeeding women whose source of water is from the Village of Sebring.
The Blood Lead Screening Clinic will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, January 24 at BL Miller School, located at 506 W. Virginia Ave. in Sebring.
The tests are in response to higher-than-recommended lead levels that were discovered at several test sites in locations served by the Village of Sebring Public Water System. Those tests were conducted in August and September, and the results were released to the community on Thursday.
This initial lead screening test is done by finger-stick and will be provided free of charge. If the initial screening test shows an elevated blood lead level, follow up testing with a physician will be required.
Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women, infants and children, according to the Mahoning County District Board of Health which scheduled the screening clinic.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children that receive water from the Village of Sebring Public Water System are advised to use bottled water for cooking, drinking and baby formula preparation.
The Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency has also set up a Water Distribution Center at the Sebring Community Center, located at 305 W. Texas Ave. in Sebring to provide water for those affected.
From 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, people waited in line for water, which was geared toward families with pregnant women and children.
“Our target audience right now is pregnant women and children. We don’t want them consuming the water,” said Daniel O’Hara, director of the Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency.
Two trucks loads of water were dropped off at the community center on Friday, and six more trucks are expected by the end of the weekend. People can also get water from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday through Friday of next week.
Families are limited to one case of water per person in each household.
Dolly Wade was one of those people waiting for water on Friday night. She said she is happy the city is taking action.
“Well, I’m glad they found out there is lead in the water, and I’m glad they’re helping out,” she said.
Scott Fusco, who has lived in Sebring for five years now, feels the same. Fusco, who has two children living in his house, says he has been avoiding using Sebring’s water for awhile now.
“I try not to let them. I go to the store, buy water, juice,” he said. “Boil the water if we need to cook.”