Free blood tests offered after high lead emissions results in Frisco




Posted on November 5, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 5 at 9:02 PM

FRISCO - Free blood tests for lead contamination have begun as concerns over air quality have risen in Frisco.
The so called non-attainment zone is a two square mile area around the Exide technologies plant. It’s an area where the Environmental Protection Agency says emissions are higher than national air quality standards, and includes several schools, downtown Frisco and Pizza Hut Park.
Exide is offering everyone who lives in Frisco a blood test at no charge.
Bridgette Turbiville was one of the first Frisco residents to come to Dr. Vicki Davis' office for blood testing. She plans on bringing her two teenaged sons next. 
“We’re just worried," she said. "We want to make sure that we aren't just sitting by and somethings happening."
Exide is paying for the blood tests to ease the concerns of people who live in Frisco. The company’s Frisco plant is the only facility in the South Central United States not expected to meet more stringent federal lead standards. 
“I saw it online this morning and I thought I'm going to do this," said Judy Rhodes, who has lived in Frisco since 1999. "So, I called a little after nine o'clock and here I am, and I feel a lot better."
In addition to the appointments and walk-ins, Davis' office fielded about 50 phone calls about the testing. 
“We really don't know how we're going to handle it just yet, whether or not it's going to interfere with patient flow from my regular business," Davis said.
For Turbiville and Rhodes, the test is all about getting some peace of mind. 
So, why so much concern about lead contamination? Lead poisoning is toxic to many organs and tissues. It is particularly toxic for children. It interferes with the development of the nervous system, causing potentially permanent learning and behavior disorders.