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City of South Bend offering opportunities for free lead testing

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The City of South Bend offered free lead testing on Thursday night.

South Bend participated in “Lead Prevention Week” by having free testing at a local elementary school.

Muessel Elementary was chosen to hold the screenings for the lead testing because it is in an area where many older homes have tested positive for lead paint.

The school had screenings available for all South Bend students under the age of 7.

"Our focus is in the schools. We want to capture people before age 7 and make sure they're tested but also to test their younger siblings as well,” said Mark Fox, Deputy Health Officer of St Joseph County Department of Health.

Lead paint can cause health problems and learning disabilities in younger children. It can harm a child’s growth and behavior as well.

“Paint as well as potentially other sources are contributing to unusually high levels of lead exposure for children of South Bend,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

This was just the first in a series of free testing events at elementary schools across South Bend.

For those who missed the testing at the elementary school, the St. Joseph County Health Department will also offer free lead testing at the County City Building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26.

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