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SEATTLE—The Washington State Department of Health's dental commission is investigating Neighborcare Health, a company that provides medical and dental services to about half of the school-based clinics in Seattle due to concerns about contaminated equipment.

Employees at 12 school clinics in Seattle and Vashon Island skipped a step when sterilizing hand pieces, an instrument used for tooth polishing and removing decay. Neighborcare sent a letter to the families of more than 1,200 students late last month recommending a test for HIV and Hepatitis B and C, local news outlets reported.

The risk of infection is low, the company found. King County health department officials, who asked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's input, agreed.

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