July 6, 2018
OSWEGO COUNTY - Residents who would like to have their drinking water tested for lead are encouraged to sign up for free testing through the New York State Department of Health.
The program is available free of charge to all residents, whether they are served by a private well or public water system.
Residents may sign up on the NYS Department of Health website at https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/lead/free_lead_testing_pilot_program.htm or by calling the NYS Bureau of Water Supply Protection at 518-402-7650.
Lead is a toxic metal that is particularly harmful to the developing brain and nervous system of children under six and pregnant women. Lead is found throughout the environment. The primary source of lead exposure in homes is through old and deteriorated paint.
"The purpose of the free lead testing pilot program is to encourage individuals to take appropriate action if a source of lead in drinking water is identified," said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang.
Individuals who request lead testing will choose a participating laboratory from options listed on the website. The laboratory will provide two containers and instructions for collecting two samples of tap water. Water samples need to be collected and mailed to the laboratory within 30 days of receiving the sample kit. Test results will be sent directly back to residents.
"The free water testing program allows our residents to make informed decisions about their drinking water to best protect the health of their families," said Huang.
The program will continue until funds are no longer available.
For more resources on lead poisoning prevention, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/lead/.
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