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State health officials may look at a new source of information on Flint water crisis

Apr 18, 2016

Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are looking at a potential new source of data on lead exposure in Flint: baby teeth.

Assessing the effects of Flint’s lead tainted tap water in children is tricky. Blood lead tests only tell part of the story. 

State Health Department director Nick Lyon says studying baby teeth could help.

“The concept would be as children’s teeth fall out there is a potential that you could use information from that going forward as part of a lead registry,” Lyon said.

Lyon says the idea of studying baby teeth is still in its early stages.

Thousands of Flint children, including those whose exposure to lead started before they were born, could suffer from life-long health problems.