The parents of students at a school in Argentan have just learned that a child was poisoned with lead in March 2022. It may be lead paint found on the metal elements of the establishment. After examination, ARS does not recommend collective screening of children.
“We’re still a little worried because it’s not common. My daughter has asthma, she’s anemic, she’s got a lot of small problems popping up, and I’m wondering if it’s not related to that. I went to my doctor because I saw him getting worse this year, so I’m a little worried. “ says a mother whose daughter is educated in kindergarten Anne Frank in Argentan (Orne). “It’s a shame we were only warned yesterday”, regrets another mother whose two children are students of this institution. These questions from parents come as an information letter sent to them by City Hall on Monday, June 20, 2022. A student in their institution was poisoned with lead in March 2022. However, after investigation, ARS in Normandy indicated that lead was present in metal elements at school such as grids or pipes, while it showed that nothing ensured that the child was not contaminated elsewhere.
The metal elements in question have been protected, states Frédéric Leveille, mayor of Argentan on Tuesday morning, to make them inaccessible to children. “A company will come during the summer to intervene in these identified places, on the poles and pipes, to ensure safety, he continues. By 2024, this room is no longer intended to be a school. Tomorrow there will be a new school. ”
We want to provide information to parents in complete transparency and explain to them that if they had any fears, they could legally consult their doctor. But ARS did not ask us to set up a systematization of possible screenings.Frédéric Leveille, Mayor of Argentan
France 3 Normandy.
lead poisoning have an abnormal level of lead in the body. The threshold for alertness is set at 25 micrograms per liters of blood. The reporting rate is 50 micrograms per liters of blood. “In Normandy, we decided to act from the threshold of vigilance. The baby weighed between 25 and 50 micrograms.”, explains Dr. Benoît Cottrelle, Head of Surveillance and Health Safety at ARS. This explains the triggering ofARS environmental survey in April last year.
Lead poisoning is the pathology associated with lead poisoning. It is measured by blood lead (or lead level in the blood). In a child or young person under the age of 18, we talk about lead poisoning when the lead content of the blood is equal to or greater than 50 micrograms per day. liters of blood. This requires long-term exposure to lead, says Dr. Benoît Cottrelle. The child was in a situation where he had not yet reached this stage of the pathology, but in “a situation that required intervention”says the doctor.
Lead poisoning can have consequences for the body, at the level of the nervous system, bone marrow and kidneys. In the young student at Anne Franck’s school, “no consequences at this stage directly visible in the child. The main risk is a developmental learning disorder, a slight developmental delay. It is from much higher rates around 250 that it is necessary to establish a treatment aimed at removing lead from this child. “thinks Dr. Benoît Cottrelle, who states that no treatment other than a healthy lifestyle and monitoring is necessary.
In the case of the Argentine school, there is still a question: why was lead painting, banned since 1949, present in this school built in the 1950s? “Hard to understandresponds the head of surveillance and health security at ARS. In the case of another school, it is the same situation (…) I think we have lost a bit of memory about the successive layers of paint that accumulated on certain elements. “ The mayor of Argentan can not explain it either. “Maybe it was necessary to sell the shares at that time?”, he wonders.
To think that there was none “reason to believe that other children may have been infected”ARS does not recommend screenings for other children in school.
After requesting a certain number of parents, City Hall and ARS will arrange a visit to the school to answer their questions.