FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – Shiby Mathew of Frisco was one of several residents who gave state health officials an earful Tuesday night during a town hall meeting where the results of more than 600 blood tests were released. “It looks to me, based on your results, that it was more of, let’s just do it so the residents can keep quiet and not complain,” argued Mathew. “I’m not happy with the results,” she added.
Mathew had her family tested for lead, and although detectable levels were found, they did not meet the level for concern issued by the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention.
The Mathew family lives two miles from Exide Technologies. The battery recycling plant has been immersed in controversy ever since a 1.3 mile zone around the plant failed to meet EPA air quality standards.
To ease concerns, the Texas Department of State Health Services offered free blood tests in March for Frisco residents and for people who work in the city. “Most of the people who we tested in our clinic did not have detectable levels of lead in their blood,” explained Dr. Carrie Bradford, a toxicologist for the Department of State Health Services.
According to DSHS, 608 blood samples were tested and 95% of the samples had no detectable levels of lead. The remaining 5% had detectable levels, but below the level for concern by the CDC.
Critics of the Exide plant argue that CDC standards are 20 years old and that new studies show that any level of lead is bad for humans, especially children.
Neighbors who doubt the results say the tests were flawed because they were not confined to residents living near the plant. “They don’t have the data mapped out to show who had the highest levels and to see if it’s close by or far away.” said Mathew.
State health officials argue that the blood tests were not part of a study. Instead, the tests were part of a free public health service for anyone with concerns of lead in their blood.
Read the full results.