CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Representatives from the EPA, the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, the Clarksburg Water Board and others met on Wednesday to unveil a new billboard to promote lead testing for children.

The promotion of the testing comes after lead service lines were found in many homes within the Clarksburg Water Board’s service area.

“We’re working with local officials and the state to make sure that people in Harrison County know how important it is to get their kids tested for lead. Through a variety of tests over the last year, it shows that in some months, lead poison levels are five times the safe level. We know it comes from a variety of sources, and we also know that not enough kids are getting tested. So, the EPA is supporting this campaign with some funding to make sure that people know to get their kids tested, and for physicians when they see kids coming through to get permission to run the test,” said Adam Ortiz, Administrator of EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region.

“Older cities, especially older cities with older infrastructure and water infrastructure housing stock is older, before 1970 or even before 1950, they have instances of lead poisoning in kids. So, we’re trying to focus on all of these old cities. Clarksburg and Harrison County has been a focus of ours because we had testing to show that there’s a lot to be concerned about,” continued Ortiz.

Members in attendance signed the billboard and gave it to the Harrison-Clarksburg Health Department. (WBOY Image)

According to physicians at the event, lead position in children is something that often goes unnoticed.

“Clinicians don’t really think about lead toxicity as a cause of illness. We now are asking every child in West Virginia to be tested for lead poisoning,” said Dr. David Didden, Physician Director for the WV Bureau for Public Health.

Dr. Didden said that children should be tested at 12 months and 24 months and if they have never been tested and are under the age of six.

The billboard is located at 664 West Main Street in Clarksburg.

If you would like to be tested for free for the levels of lead in your blood, you can reach out to the Harrison-Clarksburg Health Department at 304-623-9308.

You can also learn more information here.