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Children in US Town With Toxic Water Tested for Lead

Registered Nurse Brian Jones draws a blood sample from Grayling Stefek, 5, at the Eisenhower Elementary School, in Flint, Mich., Jan. 26, 2016. The students were being tested for lead after the metal was found in the city's drinking water.

Hundreds of children in Flint Michigan are being tested for lead exposure, local officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Volunteers and local nurses manned stations where parents could bring their children to have their blood tested for lead exposure.

Lead poisoning can cause brain damage in children, and is particularly dangerous to children under the age of 6.

The move to test the children comes three weeks after a state of emergency was declared in the city due to contaminated water.

Residents of the city of 100,000 people had complained for months about discolored water, but officials moved slowly to address the problem.

In 2014, Flint began using river water, which was more corrosive than its previous supply and caused more lead to leach from its aging pipes.

Word of the contaminated water has prompted major corporations including Walmart, Coca-Cola, Pepsico and Nestle to donate massive amounts of bottled water to Flint residents.

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