MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Harrison County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) recipients are now eligible for free lead testing as part of a pilot program responding to high levels of lead found in Clarksburg homes, according to a release.

WIC said that participants are permitted to schedule an appointment for a blood test for lead and to receive education on lead exposure.

This comes after the Harrison-Clarksburg Health Department offered free lead testing to little response from residents. This caused the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) to commission WIC to perform the testing instead.

“With WIC, people are coming in and we have them face-to-face, so maybe we would have
a better chance of getting a lead test completed and letting them know their results,” said
Camilla Haught, dietitian and program manager at Monongalia County Health Department
(MCHD) WIC, which oversees WIC offices in six counties, including Harrison County.

WIC said that the test requires just a finger prick and that results are available in about three minutes.

The program was founded in response to elevated lead levels being found in tap water in some Clarksburg households that used a public water main. The City of Clarksburg combated this by providing free water filtration pitchers to thousands of homes with the eventual goal of the Clarksburg Water Board being to replace the contaminating lines.

The release added that ways residents can reduce their risk of lead exposure through water include:

  • Run your water through a filter
  • Drink or cook only with cold tap water
  • Flushing pipes before drinking by running the tap, taking a shower, doing a load of laundry or a load of dishes.

WIC clients can make a testing appointment by calling the Harrison County WIC office at 304-848-9680