Minnesota health officials have urged workers at the Federal Ammunition company plant in Anoka to get their children tested for lead exposure after four kids with family members who work there were found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood.
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The Minnesota Department of Health said the children, from four separate households, were exposed to lead dust that was brought home accidentally on the clothing and personal items of their family members. And they’re concerned that other children of plant employees might have been exposed to “take-home lead dust” but have not been tested.
“The series of cases indicates an ongoing exposure problem requiring additional prevention actions,” the department said in a news release on Friday.
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Lead dust can accumulate on workers’ bodies, clothing, shoes and personal items. The first child was identified in November 2021, with more cases found in late 2022 and earlier this year.
Federal makes ammunition primarily for sporting firearms. State regulators cited the company for violations of workplace lead standards in late 2021 for issues not directly related to the first child. They ordered managers to improve changing rooms to reduce take-home dust. But the department said the company has yet to demonstrate that it has made sufficient changes to reduce the risk.