LENEXA, Kans. — The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is announcing free blood lead testing for eligible children under 6 and women between the ages of 15 and 44 in Jasper and Newton counties in Missouri.

ATSDR will hold eight blood lead testing events from August 12th – Aug. 20th at the Neosho YMCA and Joplin Public Library. Testing is done on a first-come, first-served basis where results will be kept private and be sent back to each participant.

Each eligible participant will also receive a $20 gift card. Appointments can be made by calling 833-678-2724 or by emailing MoLead@cdc.gov.

Free Blood Lead Testing for Children Under 6 and Women 15-44

Newton County Testing Site, August 12, 13 and 15: Neosho YMCA, 4701 Chouteau St., Neosho, MO 64850

  • Friday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 13, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 15, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jasper County Testing Site, August 16 to 20: Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St., Joplin, MO 64804

  • Tuesday, Aug. 16, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 18, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This lead exposure investigation in Jasper and Newton counties is being conducted by ATSDR, in conjunction with EPA Region 7, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS), Mid-America Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (MAPEHSU), and many other state and local partner agencies.

Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning due to their developing nervous symptoms and their tendency to put lead toys into their mouths or interact with lead-contaminated soil and dust.

Pregnant mothers however can also expose their unborn baby to lead through what they ingest themselves. At lower levels of exposure, this can lead to decreased mental development, and other issues.

Children sick with lead poisoning don’t always appear to be, which is why testing can be so important.