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Childhood lead poisoning continues to be a serious health issue in Grand Rapids. Get the Lead Out! (GTLO) is a multi-agency collaborative whose vision is to "end childhood lead poisoning among children in Kent County."
What causes lead poisoning?
Lead-based paint was used in many homes built before 1978. The older the home, the more likely that windows, cupboards, doors, porches, and outdoor surfaces have lead-based paint. As that paint ages, is damaged or worn, it releases lead paint chips and dust containing lead.
Lead dust is the most common source for lead poisoning in children. Lead dust comes from normal wear and tear from opening doors and windows and other painted areas. The dust settles to floor and gets on children's hands and toys, and it enters their bodies when they put their hands or toys in their mouths.
How can I tell if my child has been exposed to lead?
Have your child tested. A simple blood test is all it takes to determine if your child has been exposed to lead. Ask your pediatrician to test your child or visit the Kent County Health Department. The Health Department offers low cost testing.
The City of Grand Rapids Community Development Department is a partner in the Get the Lead Out! collaborative. The Community Development Department's Housing Rehabilitation Division offers information on lead poisoning and its symptoms, and assistance in removing the lead through the Lead Hazard Control Program.
GTLO! One Thousand Units celebration
More information on the Get the Lead Out! program can be found at www.GetTheLeadOutGR.org, or by contacting:
Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan
1545 Buchanan Avenue SW, Suite 2
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49507
Phone: (616) 241-3300
Fax: (616) 241-3327
For more information on lead exposure and answers to more common questions, visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website at www.epa.gov/lead or visit the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) website at www.Michigan.gov/leadsafe.