ATLANTA – The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will offer urine arsenic retests to residents of Hayden and Winkelman, Arizona who participated in blood lead and urine arsenic testing in 2015. The retest will help ATSDR determine if area residents have abnormal levels of arsenic in their bodies when air pollution levels are typical for the community. ATSDR staff will be in Hayden and Winkelman October 25 – 29, 2017.
In April, ATSDR staff met with the community to discuss findings from the original 2015 testing event and the need for retest. In 2015 ATSDR conducted blood lead and urine arsenic testing to learn whether residents have been exposed at levels that could harm their health.
The investigators found that some children in Hayden and Winkelman had high blood lead levels. However the arsenic testing was inconclusive because lead and arsenic levels in the air were less-than-typical because the ASARCO smelter had shutdown for maintenance. The smelter shutdown likely did not affect participant blood lead results, but could have affected arsenic results.
The arsenic retest results will help participants have a better understanding of how much arsenic is in their bodies when the smelter is operating.
Lead exposure can cause learning and behavior problems in children. Long term exposure to arsenic in the air can lead to skin conditions including kerotosis and circulatory and nervous system problems. Arsenic exposure over many years may also increase the risk of cancer of the skin, bladder, lung, and liver.
ATSDR’s report and summary of the 2015 findings are available at the Hayden Public Library or at https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/hwaz/index.html
For more information about the Hayden and Winkelman exposure investigation please visit https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/hwaz/index.html or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).
ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.