YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – About 22 workers with the Youngstown City Health Department were tested for lead Monday morning, following water tests at Oakhill Renaissance Place that came back positive Thursday for unacceptable levels of lead.
None of workers tested positive for actionable levels of lead in their blood.
Faith Terreri, a sanitarian with the Youngstown City Health Department, said she doesn’t usually drink the water in the building, but she opted for the test anyway.
“I wasn’t all that concerned, but you know, there is a little bit of a nag in the back of your head thinking, ‘Well, what if?'” she said.
Youngstown Health Department workers were tested because a sink in a common break room at the department was one of four areas that tested positive for high levels of lead.
A total of 30 samples were taken at the office building. None of the areas that tested positive are accessible to the public.
The county is taking extra precautions by shutting the water off in all areas that tested high, and bottled water is being provided.
In the wake of problems in Sebring and Flint, Michigan, Mahoning County Commissioners wanted to act quickly and begin testing every county building.
Mahoning County Health Commissioner Pat Sweeney said the only people at risk are children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, however.
“Every other employee in this building, unless they fall into that category, really testing is not a good use of resources,” she said.
Sweeney is recommending that the Head Start building, which sits across the street from Oakhill, be tested.
For the time being, maintenance workers have installed a special filter for the break room faucet, and tests will be conducted in the adjacent Head Start facility to see if children there have been exposed.