Spokane neighbors concerned about the hidden dangers of lead - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane neighbors concerned about the hidden dangers of lead

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Lead is a problem for everyone, but especially children.  Back in 2005 a study found that Spokane had a high risk of lead poisoning, mostly due to the age of the homes.  But there is a place in Spokane where the risk of lead poisoning could be on tap. 

Dean Gunderson has lived in his house for 11 years.  He says it's a pleasant neighborhood.  "It's always like this, really quiet," says Gunderson.   Timarie Smith has lived in her century old house for about four years. 

"It's old enough you can tell the front part of the house never had plumbing," Smith tells KHQ. 

When I caught up with them, they were both going about their normal activities not even realizing they may have a hidden health risk right under their feet. 

The city of Spokane says of their 75,000 water customers, 486 of them still have lead water service lines.  I wasn't able to find out exact addresses, but did learn those houses are in the Shadle area and are World War II era homes. 

"You can't tell by looking at the outside," says Smith.  "There's no way to know."

The city plans to send notices to the remaining customers with lead service lines.  So far they have replaced several hundred.  Until then however, people like Gunderson and Smith are left wondering and worrying.  

"We don't drink out of the tap," says Gunderson.  Smith does, but takes precautions.  "I do know for myself and my kids, I've taught them to let the water run before we consume it."

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