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Explanation sought for Michigan lead level test results

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services logo

Health officials say they're working to better understand an increase in the percent of Michigan children under age 6 with elevated blood lead levels.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported Monday that the increase came during the April to June period. They say, however, the increase may be the result of more testing prompted by Flint's crisis with lead-tainted water.

Eden Wells, the department's chief medical executive, tells The Detroit News "there's an awful lot of increased awareness." The state says 4.2 percent of children tested had elevated levels, up from 2.9 percent in the same period a year ago.

Increases were noted in Flint, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Jackson County. Common sources of lead exposure include lead dust or paint chips and contact with lead-tainted soil.