August 2011 Archives

August 22, 2011

High Levels of Lead Found in Grafton Ridge Developments in Harford, Maryland

Local health officials in Harford County, Maryland are investigating a possible contamination in the running/drinking water of residents in Fallston, Maryland. Residents in Fallston, Maryland may have been exposed to excessive levels of lead in their drinking/running water.

Health officials in Harford County, Maryland are warning residents in Grafton Ridge housing developments to boil their drinking water. The water in those developments had lead levels which exceed the limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and therefore, may be unsafe and cause health risks.

The source of the lead exposure and contamination has not yet been determined, but an investigation is underway. Health officials are not sure how long the lead levels have been over the EPA established limit and are therefore, conducting extensive testing of all area water.

Testing to date has determined that 14 out of 16 homes in the Grafton Ridge housing developments have had high levels of lead in their drinking water. Richmond American Homes, the builder of these homes in the Grafton Ridge Development, will be replacing the brass parts with stainless steel ones to see if that improved the water lead levels.

Residents in Saddle View, Watervale Farm, Deer Hollow and Martin Meadows should be careful as well, as they too are part of the Grafton Ridge communities.

The elevated lead levels could pose a risk of lead poisoning, which may result in nervous system injuries, brain damage, seizures, convulsions, growth or mental retardation, coma and even death in children. If you are a resident in the Grafton Ridge Developments and experience any health problems, please see your physician immediately. Go to your nearest emergency room and call the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

August 12, 2011

Emergency Contact Information Database Now Available in Maryland

Drivers in the state of Maryland can now electronically store emergency contact information onto their driving records at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. This information will help police officers and other law enforcement officials contact family members of people involved in serious and fatal automobile accidents quicker.

Contact information can be uploaded by visiting the MVA website at www.mva.maryland.gov/emvastore/ or by visiting any MVA kiosks located at both full and express MVA locations. Any Maryland driver with a valid Maryland driver's license or state issued identification card can add up to three emergency contacts. The contact information is safely stored and is only accessible to law enforcement officials.

In order to upload your contact information online; you will need the following:
- an email address or phone number
- driver's license number
- date of birth
- last 4 digits of your Social Security number

Eight other states have the same type of emergency contact program to date. Some of the states that do not do offer a downloadable emergency contact card that people can carry with them at all times.

August 1, 2011

Ways to Prevent Childrens Deaths from Hyperthermia

Child left in car.jpg
The summer heat is dangerous for children left in cars. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that Hyperthermia, otherwise known as heat stroke, is the leading cause of deaths for children under the age of 14 in non accident vehicle deaths in the United States. An average of 27 deaths from children suffering from hyperthermia, are reported yearly.

Here are a few tips recommended by the NHTSA to keep children safe in cars during the hot summer months:
- Never leave a child in a vehicle alone
- Never let a child play unattended in a vehicle
- Never leave infants and children under the age of 14 in parked cars. Not even if you leave the windows slightly open, or if the car is on and with the air conditioning on.
- If you see that a child has been left alone in a hot vehicle, do not hesitate and call the police. Even if you see that the child's face is red, hot, moist, or even extremely dry, no sweating, nauseated or acting strangely. Remove the child from the vehicle and call the police or ambulance for assistance.

These deaths are 100% preventable, if the right steps are followed by parents, caregivers, and the community.