Beyond the giggles of 2-year-old toddler Samira Allen is a potentially serious problem.
Two-year-old Samira Allen’s mom was notified by the Indiana State Department of Health in July of the dangerously high amount of lead in her blood more than a year after being tested at a state clinic, CBS2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.READ MORE: Video Of Gruesome Humboldt Park Shooting From CPD POD Camera Was Made Public Without City's Permission, CBS 2 Has Learned
“A dangerous level would be five [microgams per deciliter] and my child’s level was 33. That’s scary,” said her mom, Shantel Allen. “So this whole summer she’s been rolling around in the grass. It’s kind of scary to think what it could be now.”
Her fear is justified, because the family lives in the West Calumet Housing complex in East Chicago, where Environmental Protection Agency officials have determined the soil, Samira and hundreds of other children play is contaminated with lead.
Children with high lead levels “…can have a lower IQ, problems with behavior, problems with attention deficit,” said Dr. Susan Buchanan of the UIC School of Public Health. “There are studies showing children with more delinquent behaviors — and this includes even at very low levels of lead exposure.”READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: 130 Homes Damaged In Tornado In West, Southwest Suburbs As Dangerous Storms Hit Chicago Area Sunday Night
After more than a year passed and Samira’s mom didn’t get the results, Samira was tested again, and her mother is currently waiting on those results.
“Just thinking about her potentially developing ADDD or something, causing her to fall behind in school and not keep up, it’s not fair, and we should’ve been notified.” Allen says.
Numerous calls to the Indiana State Department of Health to find out why it took so long to notify the family were not returned.MORE NEWS: With Areas Of Naperville Devastated By Tornado, Neighbors Band Together A Night Later To Help Each Other
Like other families in the complex, the Allen family is waiting to move out.