Jan 28, 2016

Environmental Testing Services Reacts to Flint Water Crisis

ETS is helping to make Flint residents aware of lead hazards

Flint lead water contamination, lead testing

Environmental Testing Services (ETS) is educating and assisting residents of Flint, Mich., in the awareness of lead hazards in their homes. ETS is a national lead testing firm that engages with residents to ensure their homes are safe and free of lead contaminants.

The city of Flint made a decision to switch its water supply from Lake Huron, via Detroit's water department, to the Flint River. As a result, Flint's drinking water now contains high levels of lead. ETS has seen an increase in homeowners’ awareness to the dangers of lead's other forms: Homeowners may not have realized that lead can contaminate in many forms; homes built prior to 1978 may contain lead paint; and older furniture, foreign-made toys and even dinnerware may contain toxic levels of lead.

ETS specializes in not only testing the paint on walls but also focuses on "older everyday products" to look for lead hazards. Employees often find lead in ornate plates and cups imported from overseas, where lead used in production is legal in some places. Lead can even be found in certain plastics that make their way into toys received from abroad. Being proactive, rather than reactive, can make all the difference. Once lead enters the body, the health effects are long term. In particular, young children are the most susceptible to lead poisoning, as they touch products on which there could be lead dust and then put their fingers into their mouths. 

Using an XRF lead inspection gun, an inspector is able to instantly indentify the presence and quantity of lead throughout items in the home, including the paint, toys and furniture.  ETS also supplies a report quantifying its findings with recommendations. 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Lead poisoning can cause permanent damage to the brain and many other organs and causes reduced intelligence and behavioral problems. Lead can also cause abnormal fetal development in pregnant women."