>> Dangerous levels of toxic lead in drinking water is a problem far beyond the city of Flint, Michigan. Even a state like California, known for its environmental advocacy, is seeing troubling rates of lead exposure. Blood testing data obtained by Reuters, shows at least 29 California communities have experienced rates of childhood lead poisoning surpassing that of Flint.
Including in the Bay Area and downtown Los Angeles. Reuters investigative correspondent Joshua Schneyer.>> What that data shows is that lead poisoning is a fairly widespread concern in California. There's a lot of disparities between the neighborhoods. But places like Fresno, and big parts of the East Bay have zip codes with high rates of lead poisoning among children.
>> Fresno, a city that saw rates nearly three times higher than in Flint, contends with high poverty and substandard housing, both risk factors for lead exposure. California's Public Health Department, however, saying it's unfair to compare its lead test results with those from other states.>> They say comparisons between California data and other states are unwarranted.
Because different states take a little different approach to testing. However, Michigan has what they call a targeted testing approach, just as California does. It means they don't test all children. They test the children deemed at risk.>> California's results offering just a snapshot of the state, covering tests conducted in 2012, the most recent year available, in roughly one-fourth of the state's more than 2,000 zip code areas.