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Louisiana Department of Health Responds to Elevated Lead Levels in St. Joseph Water System

February, 13, 2017

In December 2016, Governor Edwards issued a public health emergency for the Town of St. Joseph, after two samples of water were found to have elevated levels of lead. Further testing was done at all residences and businesses getting water from the St. Joseph Water System, and 36 high risk sites (50 ppb) requiring further intervention were identified.

Shortly after the elevated lead levels were detected, the Louisiana Department of Health's Healthy Homes and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program sent outreach workers to each of the 36 high risk sites identified to educate residents and to ask if children under 6 or pregnant women lived or stayed at the home or business for 10 hours or more each week. These educators also provided informational materials, encouraged lead testing of children, and reminded residents not to drink or cook with tap water, stressing that boiling does not remove lead.

The Healthy Homes program also planned complete environmental investigations of homes to fully assess the property and discover any other sources of lead, such as paint, soil or products containing lead.

Residents of St. Joseph are encouraged to visit the LDH website or call 1-866-280-7287 to find up-to-date information about elevated lead levels in the St. Joseph Water System.

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