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Douglas County pushes for more lead testing

Posted at 8:37 AM, Feb 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-13 09:38:35-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Eight years later, the Douglas County Health Dept. is still waiting to hear back from homes and apartments with possible lead contamination.

The ASARCO plant closed nearly two decades ago, yet the 125-year-long operation left a residual side effect after emitting high levels of lead in east Omaha.

Wesleyon Zollicoffer, father of three, said doctors diagnosed his son with lead poisoning.

He has very low iron and I think some, maybe some learning disabilities or delays - speech challenges, he said. 

The family's house is one of 13,000 properties still requiring lead testing.

Last fall, they received a letter from the county department.

It started sending out hundreds of letters each day dating back to 2010. Fast forward, the agency told 3 News Now it's still waiting to hear back from about 5,000 properties.

The Zollicoffers allowed the county to test their base boards and window sills for lead dust, which came back positive. 

Since then, the department showed the family how to properly eradicate traces of lead.

It even provided a HEPA vacuum cleaner. The filter is supposed trap 99.97 percent of all airborne particles, according to experts.

If you think you received a letter or want to know more about the free lead testing condcuted by the county, call (402) 444-7825.