- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its Oklahoma counterparts say that since 1997, the blood lead levels of children living in Ottawa County and the Tar Creek Superfund cleanup site have drastically declined.

Children in those areas of northeastern Oklahoma had historically been exposed to high levels of lead from former mining operations, especially around the Tar Creek Superfund site.

In 1997, 21.5 percent of children living near Tar Creek showed elevated blood levels. For the same year, 12.61 percent of children in Ottawa County had elevated levels.

Officials say screenings from last year showed that 0 percent of children had elevated levels. The agency cites remediation efforts and increased community awareness for the decrease.

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