SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Data show that physicians and medical providers tested about 40 percent more St. Joseph County children for lead last year compared with 2016.

The South Bend Tribune reports county health department data show about 4,500 children younger than age 7 were tested for lead in 2017. That’s up from 3,200 children in 2016. Of the children tested last year 387, or about 9 percent, had blood-lead levels at or above the level that federal officials consider “elevated.”

The new testing numbers come after the state released data in late 2016 that showed an unusually high percentage of children had elevated lead levels in their blood on South Bend’s near northwest side.

Overall the numbers show that nearly 20 percent of the county’s approximately 23,400 children younger than 7 were tested for lead levels.

Information from: South Bend Tribune,

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