Lead poisoning has been a problem for decades.
Over 70% of Michigan homes were built before 1978, the year when lead paint was banned. That puts thousands of children at risk of lead’s effects on their physical, mental and developmental health. Few homes are tested for lead, and few children are tested for poisoning.
Fortunately, lead poisoning is preventable, and the ways we can end it are entirely achievable. Enter the Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Homes, or MIALSH, and its program, Lead Education Day.
MIALSH is a coalition funded and led by Michigan Environmental Council, committed to reducing and eliminating childhood lead poisoning. Included in the group are physicians, nurses, housing professionals, environmental and health experts, business owners and, most crucially, everyday Michigan advocates.
Lead Education Day serves as the focal point of MIALSH’s lead prevention efforts. It brings experts and advocates together to urge lawmakers to secure lead prevention funding and turn these three leading policy priorities into law:
- Test all toddlers. Require all 1- and 2-year-old Michigan children be tested for lead to prevent poisoning in children and identify dangerous homes for remediation.
- Better certify contractors. Have the state of Michigan assume responsibility for the federal Renovation, Repair and Painting program, which requires contractors to be certified for lead-safe work on pre-1978 homes. Local control ups efficiency and better attunes the program to state-specific issues.
- Increase lead inspections. Require an inspection for lead paint, soil, dust and water before the sale or transfer of property built before 1978 intended for occupancy to better ID and remove lead.
Before MIALSH formed in 2010 and began hosting Lead Education Day, decades passed with no significant state funding for lead cleanup programs. Thanks to MIALSH’s advocacy, the state legislature has brought in millions of dollars of funding.
You can join MIALSH and Lead Education Day, too. No health degree, lobbyists’ credentials or other expertise needed.