GRAND RAPIDS -- Eighty percent of homes in Grand Rapids were built before 1978 and, as a result, the people who live inside them might be at high risk for lead poisoning.
The staggering statistic was presented by Dr. William Bush, pediatrician-in-chief at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, to the Kent County Lead Task Force during a meeting Wednesday (Feb. 15) at the Kent County Administrative Building, according to the Grand Rapids Press.
The task force was formed last September after Kent County was listed among the areas of the state with the highest number of children exhibiting elevated blood lead levels.
For Kent County, the top cause of lead poisoning is contact with paint inside older homes. Lead was banned in paint in 1978.
Bush was one of four experts from various healthcare and housing agencies who warned of the subtle contamination but lasting consequences of lead poisoning, especially in children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly half a million children in the U.S. have elevated blood lead levels.
During the next several months, the group will hold more public forums on the topic and seek the counsel of healthcare and housing professionals. The body remains on schedule to have a full report completed by the end of 2017.
Child Lead Poisoning Injuries
Lead poisoning in children can lead to very serious consequences. Many of these conditions can be remain with the child for the rest of his or her life.
- Loss of IQ points
- Learning disabilities
- Speech problems
- Developmental delays
- Loss of learning capacity
- Hyperactivity and attention disorder (ADHD)
- Delinquent and criminal behavior
- Brain damage
- Wrongful death
The injuries caused by lead poisoning prevent many children from reaching their full intellectual and earning potential. These children often need special education services for many years. As a result, the damages suffered by a lead poisoned child are significant. We have won large lead poisoning settlements throughout Michigan and Ohio for children and their parents.
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