Action Alert: Prevent Childhood Lead Poisoning

Michigan is one of the worst states in the country for childhood lead poisoning, and children urgently need us to address the legacy of lead in the paint on our walls, the soil in our backyards, and the pipes that bring water into our homes. Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. The Ecology Center is working to keep kids across the state healthy before poisoning happens, and we need your help.

Building on the recommendations of the 2016 Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board, the permanent Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission (CLEEC) has crafted a Five-Year Action Plan with specific steps to create a state virtually free of lead exposure and to keep Michigan children healthy and safe. The Action Plan focuses on enhancing testing to identify lead-poisoned children and homes with lead hazards; educating Michigan children’s health providers, builders and plumbers, and the public; gathering data to inform effective action; establishing partnerships to maximize reach and make sure communities get what they need; securing adequate and reliable funding; and improving regulations and law across the state.

The Ecology Center has been active in creating this plan and in advocating for policy change to protect Michigan’s children. Deputy Director Rebecca Meuninck, PhD, serves on the commission, and our Health Leaders Fellows joined the fight in Lansing, asking legislators to support the CLEEC’s common sense solutions, including:

-Universal lead testing for Michigan kids aged 1 & 2 to help ensure all infants get the support and services they need.

-Shifting the burden of proof to landlords to disclose and fix lead risk before renting to families. A focus on making sure rental units are safe for kids is critical to end lead poisoning in Michigan. Up to 80% of lead poisoned children in Detroit and Flint and up to 60% in Grand Rapids were poisoned in a rental unit, and one toxic home can harm many families.

-Requiring a lead test at sale or transfer of property.  Most kids are lead poisoned by their homes, and close to 78% of Michigan housing stock could have lead paint. By making sure homes are lead safe before children move in, we can stop lead poisoning before it happens.

-Fully funding budget requests for lead hazard removal by the MI Department of Health and Human Services and for the Lead Commission to keep children safe from lead exposure.

The Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission needs your help. What does your community need? Do you support these actions? Share your input on the action plan and next steps for implementation at one of five upcoming public forums:

Grand Rapids
Thursday, May 31

3:00-5:30 p.m. and 6:00-8:30 p.m
Kent County Health Department, 700 Fuller Avenue, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Wednesday, June 13

2:30-5:00 p.m.
Jackson County Health Department, 1715 Lansing Avenue, Jackson, MI 49202

Monday, June 25

6:00-8:00 p.m.
Wayne County Community College, Downtown Campus, 1001 West Fort Street, Detroit, MI 48226

Traverse City
Wednesday, July 18

4:00-6:30 p.m.
Grand Traverse County Health Department, 2600 Lafranier Road, Traverse City, MI 49686


Published on May 30, 2018