The state of Michigan is asking the federal government for money to expand lead abatement efforts.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is seeking nearly $24 million to permanently remove or contain lead based paint in homes, to replace lead water fixtures, and to remove soil lead hazards.
“Preventing lead exposure is an important part of looking at health globally and addressing the role environmental factors have in health outcomes,” says Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS. “I look forward to our continued work with our federal partners on this program,” he says.
In Flint, the program would also include replacing lead service lines, which connect homes to city water mains.
The issue of lead exposure has gained attention as a result of the Flint water crisis. The city’s drinking water became contaminated with lead after improperly treated Flint River water damaged aging pipes, which leached lead into the tap water.
Almost 5% of children under the age of 5 in Flint suffer from elevated blood lead levels, according to the American Journal of Public Health.
Elevated blood lead levels put children at risk for high blood pressure, kidney problems and neurocognitive problems.