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Lead is a toxic metal. For decades, it was used in paint, toys and other everyday products. It was also used in water pipes, like the ones that caused the Flint Water Crisis 10 years ago.

A few decades ago, almost 90% of kids in the United States were poisoned by lead because of all the products it was in. Now, lead is largely banned. But Michigan is a state of old homes and old pipes. Legacy lead pollution remains.

About 4,000 children are exposed to lead each year— and no amount of exposure is safe. What’s more, this number is likely an undercount, as most children haven’t been tested.

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Find lead levels in your community

The State of Michigan has created detailed mapping for all sorts of all public health concerns across the state. Lead poisoning rates are included. Here are the steps you need to find lead poisoning levels in your community. 

  • Go to Michigan’s health tracker at

  • Select “Health” as your category.

  • Select “Lead Exposure - Children” as your content area.

  • Select “Annual Blood Lead Levels” as your indicator.

  • Select “4. Number of Children Tested with an Elevated Blood Lead Level” as your measure.

  • Click or tap “Run Query.”

  • To find lead levels in your community, click the “Map” or “Chart” Data Options, then explore the sorting options.

Bear in mind that children covered by Medicaid are more likely to be tested for lead than those who are not. That means communities with more people using Medicaid are more likely to appear on the map. Communities with less people using Medicaid may still have a problem.

Fortunately, thanks in part to Lead Education Days past, Michigan will soon begin to test every young child for lead from hereon out as part of each kid's checkup routine. This means our understanding of lead poisoning rates around the state should grow.