Kids smiling

Ending Lead Poisoning in Michigan

There is no safe level of lead exposure. Lead impairs children’s brain development and can trigger serious and irreversible learning, and behavioral problems. In very high doses lead exposure can be fatal.

Thousands of children in Michigan and our neighboring states are lead poisoned every year. In 2021, Michigan ranked 3rd in a nationwide assessment of blood-lead levels in children; 78% of children who were tested had lead in their blood.

Michigan and other Great Lakes states have a high percentage of homes built before 1978, when lead paint was banned. Old homes can continue to expose families to lead. Adding to the sources of lead exposure, this region has a history of heavy industrial production and aging, crumbling water pipes. Further, lead poisoning disproportionately impacts Black and brown communities due to racist housing practices of the past and today that lead to a lack of safe, healthy, and affordable homes.

Webinar: Lead as an Environmental Justice Issue

Lead poisoning affects millions of people each year but does not affect children and their families equally. Children from low-income families or children who are Black and brown are affected disproportionately more than other racial groups.