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American Lung Association offers free lead testing in Duluth

Young children and pregnant women can be tested for lead poisoning during three sessions next week.

The American Lung Association is hosting free blood testing in Duluth for children younger than 6 years old and for pregnant women. Testing will be offered Monday between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Piedmont Elementary School, 2827 Chambersburg Ave., between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lincoln Park Commons, 2424 W. Fifth St., and on Tuesday at Myers-Wilkins Elementary School, 1027 N. Eighth Ave. E.

The testing will involve a nurse pricking the person's finger to draw blood; those tested will know within a few minutes whether they should have more testing done for lead poisoning, said Liz Johnson of the American Lung Association.

Sustainable Resources Center staff will be on hand to connect those tested with the next step of testing, if needed. Information will also be available regarding the removal of lead from homes.

The testing events are meant to raise awareness about the dangers of lead-based paint, which can be found in homes built before 1978.

This is the third year the American Lung Association has held the free lead testing events to identify lead poisoning in Duluth children and help families through the process to remedy the situation. The American Lung Association is partnering with Duluth Healthy Home; Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative; and Head Start at Piedmont and Myers-Wilkins elementary schools.