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Michigan Lead Poisoning Lawyers | Lead Levels Decreasing

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Childhood lead poisoning is on a major decline.  According to researchers at Michigan State University, working with the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the number of children suffering from lead poisoning declined 35% from 2003 to 2007.  These findings are even more astounding because the same years saw a dramatic increase in the number of children being tested for lead poisoning.

Despite this tremendous decline in the percentage of children with lead poisoning and elevated blood lead levels, the number of children effected by overexposure to lead remains high.  Over 2000 children suffered from lead poisoning in 2007, and over 17000 had heightened blood lead levels.  2007 is the latest year for which statistics are available.

Looking behind the numbers tells a more human story.  While the percentage of children statewide affected by lead is relatively low at 1.4%, in some communities, the rate rises to double digits in older communities and neighborhoods with lower income housing and people of color.  Nearly 80% of all lead poisoning comes from Battle Creek, Benton Harbor, Dearborn, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Muskegon, Pontiac and Saginaw.

Even though there has been a dramatic decrease in childhood lead poisoning, even one child that suffers from lead poisoning is one too many.  Lead paint was banned nationwide over 30 years ago, yet lead removal is not required by law and lead abatement programs are often poorly funded.  In fact, due to the difficulties of adequately enforcing the anti-lead laws, private lawsuits are almost always the most effective way to hold property owners accountable for the damages lead paint has caused on their property.  Lead paint lawsuits provide powerful incentive for landlords to finally remove the poisonous lead from their properties and prevent lead poisoning from hurting another child.

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