Officials discuss lead study findings at town hall in Hayden

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Hayden residents learned about the findings of a study that found some children living near a smelter had lead in their blood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Hayden residents learned about the findings of a study that found some children living near a smelter had lead in their blood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Officials explained the results of the findings to dozens of Hayden residents. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Officials explained the results of the findings to dozens of Hayden residents. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Asarco's smelter has been scrutiny for decades. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Asarco's smelter has been scrutiny for decades. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
HAYDEN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Several residents of the small town of Hayden held a town hall to hear the findings of a study of lead and arsenic in the town. 

In 2015, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry tested more than 80 women and children for arsenic and lead.

The findings were released last month and found some children living near the Asarco copper smelter had dangerous levels of lead in their blood.  

[READ MORE: Children living near ASARCO copper smelter found to have high levels of lead]

The agency also tested for arsenic but the findings were inclusive. The smelter smokestacks weren't in operation during testing. 

Asarco's smelter has been under scrutiny for decades. The Environmental Protection Agency has been working with the company to make improvements. Asarco says they are in the middle of a $180 million project to upgrade the facilities including adding filters on the smokestacks to cut down on emissions. 

From the study, it isn't clear what caused the high levels of lead in the children.

However, officials say children are most susceptible to picking up lead from playing in the dirt or putting toys in their mouths. The study also found that many of the homes in the area have lead-based paint, which Asarco says they're also working to fix the problem. 

Further studies will take place including retesting for arsenic while the plant is running. 

[PDF: Summary of Findings]

[PDF: Exposure Investigation Report]

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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