OAKLAND (KCBS) – A pilot study in the East Bay is focusing on the possible contamination of small children whose parents live near two industrial factories.

Custom Alloy Scrap Sales in West Oakland and Pacific Steel Casting in West Berkeley may be releasing heavy metal particulates in the air that could be harmful to children one-to-five years of age, according to an El Cerrito-based environmental group.

”We saw consistent levels of pollution coming out of two facilities over there, and we just kept getting more questions from the community,” said Ruth Breech, Program Director of Global Community Monitor. ”They told us, ‘we know what’s in the air, but what’s in our bodies – in my family’s bodies and in my child’s body.”

GCM is collaborating with UC San Francisco and Children’s Hospital Oakland on the study, where participants will voluntarily be tested at Children’s Hospital for heavy metals in the bloodstream.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

Breech said the study will examine the level of metal found in children, because she said that there is anecdotal information that suggests a possible problem.

Breech said that 35 children from each area will be examined over the course of six-to-eight months.

The most common heavy metals found in the areas are lead, cadmium and manganese.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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