NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Newark will test up to 17,000 children for lead poisoning after elevated levels of the toxin were found in the drinking water at nearly half of the schools in New Jersey’s biggest city.
City Health Director Hanaa Hamdi told officials Tuesday that testing will start with some 2,000 toddlers who attend early childhood centers. A specific date hasn’t been set yet to get blood samples from the children.
Lead is known to severely affect a child’s development.
In the week since the higher lead levels were first reported, officials have urged calm. They say the lead levels in some of Newark’s schools don’t compare to the crisis that has plagued Flint, Michigan.