Lead scare: Combined feelings as mom receives child’s take a look at outcomes

A lab technician holding blood tube test.


An East Otago mom says she’s been left confused and anxious as blood take a look at outcomes begin to roll in after a lead contamination testing blitz.

A lab technician holding blood tube test.

Mom-of-three Jazhr Hansen has been informed her child’s blood take a look at outcome confirmed a lead degree below half of the DHB’s threshold.
Photograph: 123rf.com

It has been greater than per week since residents in Waikouaiti, Karitane and Hawksbury Village had been informed to not drink or cook dinner with their faucet water.

Since then, a whole lot of individuals have been examined on the free neighborhood blood testing clinic which opened on Tuesday with some part-time and former residents additionally requesting exams.

Karitane mother-of-three Jazhr Hansen has been ready to get the outcomes for her five-month-old son since they received examined on Tuesday.

However she missed the primary name.

“I went to ring it again and it comes again because the Covid hotline, so then I used to be like ‘what is going on on?’. As a result of I clearly did not put these two collectively that they’d be ringing from the identical place.”

Receiving the outcomes was each a reduction and demanding. Her son’s outcome was 0.10 – lower than half the Southern District Well being Board’s threshold of 0.24.

Hansen stated she was nonetheless frightened as a result of her neighbour’s 14-year-old son had half the extent of her five-month-old son.

“However I simply thought that was so bizarre as a result of he is 5 months outdated so … the place did that come from? After which I stated to her ‘how does that occur, he is 5 months outdated’, and she or he stated ‘ oh, you realize, he might have drunk the water on the day of the spike or he has been placing stuff in his mouth’.

“However he is 5 months outdated so he completely hates being on the bottom so he is very often sitting with us or I am carrying him.”

To this point she didn’t know of anybody who had obtained outcomes close to or above the brink, Hansen stated.

She was not conscious all the take a look at outcomes can be coming via individually so she didn’t get her outcomes concurrently her son.

“On the time, whenever you’re attempting to digest data and they do not know the place yours is you begin to panic since you’re like ‘are they not telling me as a result of they want some recommendation first earlier than they inform me or what is the deal?’ So it is like a wee little bit of panic as effectively.”

Hansen is planning to talk to her physician in regards to the outcomes.

Resident installs water tank

Michelle Cox has lived in Waikouaiti for almost a decade.

“Nobody can say how lengthy these spikes have truly lasted … nobody can say it is solely been there a couple of hours so we would not know who has been ingesting the water at what time of the week and whether or not that is been a part of that spike or not, or whether or not they’ve missed spikes,” Cox stated.

The current water scare has motivated her household to transcend getting their blood examined – they’re placing in a water catchment from their roof.

“So we’ll attempt to take away that query mark ourselves by going independently with a water tank for rain water.”

One Hawksbury Village part-time resident and her accomplice determined to get examined, however did not wish to journey from her primary house in South Canterbury to the free clinic.

She’s been very happy with the assist from Public Well being South and is lined as much as get examined tomorrow at her native GP.

“Whereas anyone that has left from any of the opposite communities could not fairly see the necessity or the significance from a statistical standpoint, anyone who’s been dwelling right here for 20 years may need moved on and these statistics, I imagine, are very, essential if there are any points.”

Anybody who has lived or labored within the affected space for one month prior to now yr or two weeks for pregnant girls and infants is eligible for a funded take a look at.

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Free blood exams can be found for anybody who has been within the affected space for one month prior to now yr or two weeks for pregnant girls and infants.
Photograph: RNZ

DHB desires reassurance for former residents too

Southern DHB Medical Officer of Well being and public well being doctor Dr Michael Butchard stated a number of former residents had been in touch.

Lead builds up slowly and leaves the physique slowly as soon as publicity stops, he stated.

“So if folks haven’t lived within the space for a while then it is impossible that any ranges which will have been attributable to water would nonetheless be inflicting their blood degree to be an space or a degree of concern.”

Testing former residents would offer reassurance and assist to construct a greater image of whether or not there was a long-term contamination downside, Dr Butchard stated.

Folks might ask their GP for a duplicate of their take a look at outcomes, he stated.

He anticipated a public assembly to debate the neighborhood outcomes will likely be held earlier than the top of the month.

Work begins on outdated water pipes

Dunedin Metropolis Council contractors have began work on changing very outdated cast-iron water pipes with lead joins in a part of Waikouaiti.

Council’s three Waters group supervisor Tom Dyer stated residents would discover exercise on website from right now, in Edinburgh Avenue and adjoining streets, as contractors started on-site preparations for the primary stage of labor to interchange about 5km of outdated pipes within the space.

Work to seek out sections of outdated pipe with lead joins started on Wednesday final week, as a response to excessive take a look at outcomes, he stated.

“After assessing the sections of pipe as attainable causes of lead contamination, we’ve determined the very best plan of action is to interchange them as rapidly as attainable.

“The supply of the intermittent spikes in lead ranges has not but been confirmed, however this work will take away one potential supply of contamination.”

The work is predicted to value $6 million.

The Waikouaiti uncooked water reservoir will likely be drained early subsequent week to permit lead joins to get replaced, and sediment to be examined and cleaned out.

The council has additionally ordered a web-based lead monitor that attracts water into sampling gear for evaluation and supplies outcomes each 20 minutes. It is anticipated to take as much as eight weeks earlier than it will be operational.

A conductivity monitor and a pH meter will each be in place on the Waikouaiti reservoir by the top of subsequent week to supply real-time data and probably assist to detect the presence of lead extra rapidly.

The College of Otago will analyse batches of samples taken by auto-samplers able to be put in on the Waikouaiti water therapy plant.



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