September 20, 2023 - Legislation to require young children to be screened for lead poisoning cleared its final hurdle Tuesday and is on track to be sent to the governor’s desk.
Members of the Senate concurred Tuesday in an H-1 substitute for HB 4200 Trackedby a 27-10 vote without debate.
Under HB 4200 and SB 31 Tracked, children would be required to be tested for lead poisoning at certain ages and the tests would be recorded on their certificate of immunization. The Department of Health and Human Services would be required to develop rules for implementing the changes. House members passed SB 31 last week.
Sen. John Cherry (D-Flint) said the legislation will help increase protections for children from lead poisoning.
“This is just going to make sure that we help parents know if their child is being exposed and be able to address that exposure,” Cherry said.
He said when someone tests for lead in their blood, the information would be sent on to their local health department so that they can help provide remediation for the source of the lead, whether it be water, lead paint or soil.
Cherry said further steps to help address lead exposure would include legislation waiting on votes in the House to require schools and day care centers to have filtered bottle-filling stations and faucets specific for drinking water (See Gongwer Michigan Report, April 20, 2023).
Cherry said support for the lead testing bills is strong in his district.
“Flint was kind of the canary in the coal mine on this,” Cherry said. “We want to make sure we’re taking those lessons … to try to help everyone else before similar things happen.”
As passed, the bill would require children in the state to be tested for lead poisoning at 12-months old and 24-months old, beginning January 1, 2024. One more test would be required between the ages of 2 and 6 if the child has no previous record of being tested.
Children living in areas with a high risk of lead poisoning would have to be tested at age 4.