Union urges Dallas ISD workers to get blood tested for lead

The day after Dallas ISD revealed there is lead in the water at one of its administration buildings, workers are being urged to get their blood tested by union officials.

The union representing the hundreds of employees who work out of the 1920's-era W.H. Cotton Building said employees have for years complained about illnesses that they thought were connected to their workplace.

A test of the building's water revealed lead and byproducts of disinfectant in the water supply.

The district bought the Cotton Building more than 20 years ago, but never tested its water for lead until recently.

The Mayo Clinic said even seemingly healthy people can have high levels of lead in their blood and signs and symptoms of lead poisoning usually don't show up until dangerous amounts have accumulated.

“Some employees who haven't been sick were assigned to the building and have been sick. They couldn't pinpoint what the cause was. This may be the cause,” said George Rangel, Executive Vice President, Alliance AFT.

Symptoms can range from high blood pressure and abdominal pain to headaches, memory loss, infertility and miscarriage.

The district has shut off drinking fountains, sinks, and ice machines in the building and is providing bottled water until it can move employees out over Spring Break next week.

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