Health department offers free lead testing in East Chicago

In this photo taken Aug. 23, 2016, a sign from the Environmental Protection Agency is posted in front of West Calumet Housing Complex houses at East Chicago, Ind. (AP Photo/Tae-Gyun Kim)
In this photo taken Aug. 23, 2016, a sign from the Environmental Protection Agency is posted in front of West Calumet Housing Complex houses at East Chicago, Ind. (AP Photo/Tae-Gyun Kim)

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — Residents living near a large U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site in East Chicago can get blood lead testing, birth certificates and immunizations free of charge this weekend.

The Indiana State Department of Health announced the first of several similar outreach events will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. in the recreation center at the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago. The lead testing clinic will replace one held at the old Carrie Gosch School.

The area was contaminated by smelters and other industrial sites that operated for decades. Health officials say it’s particularly important to get children tested for lead.

Other similar lead testing events will be held at the recreation center on Oct. 14, Oct. 15, Oct. 21 and Oct. 28.