Lenoir City Contamination Prompts Lead Tests Of
Kristi L. Nelson knoxnews.com
The state departments of Health and Environment and Conservation, along
with the Lenoir City government, will screen children and pregnant women
for elevated lead levels tomorrow and next Tuesday due to concern about
contamination at the former Car Works site.
Free screenings will be 1-6 p.m. both days at the War Memorial Building,
103 B St. in Lenoir City. Appointments aren't needed. Translators will
be present to assist Spanish-speaking individuals.
"Lead associated with slag and foundry sand has been found at the former
Lenoir City Car Works site in concentrations of concern" if the site
will used or developed for business or housing, said Shelley Walker,
spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Health.
The Department of Environment and Conservation tested the soil on
residential properties adjacent to the site and found about a dozen
areas with lead levels that exceeded the recommendations of the
Environmental Protection Agency, Walker said.
The Health Department will offer testing to see if children, who are
most susceptible to high lead levels yet rarely exhibit symptoms, have
been exposed. Pregnant women should be tested because increased lead
levels can affect a fetus. Residents who live on properties near the
former Car Works industrial site are particularly encouraged to get
tested, Walker said.
Lead exposure can result in slowed development or learning and
behavioral problems in children, as well as pose risks to the kidneys,
red blood cells, and central nervous system.
Walker said the risk of lead exposure won't come as a surprise to most
Lenoir City residents; the results of the soil testing have been widely
Nor is finding lead in dust or soil uncommon. While lead paint is
typically found in houses only if they were constructed in the 1970s or
earlier, it's still an ingredient in paint used outdoors for such
structures as bridges and water towers. It's also common at former
Anyone who has a blood-lead level high enough for concern will be
referred for treatment, Walker said.