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MEC praises creation of board to prevent childhood lead poisoning

May 20, 2016
The Michigan Environmental Council today praised Gov. Rick Snyder's announcement of a new Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board to protect Michigan's children from the devastating effects of lead exposure.

"Lead poisoning is entirely preventable if we take action to eliminate lead hazards," said Chris Kolb, MEC president. "Establishing this board is an important step in the right direction. I am hopeful that the group will take a comprehensive, statewide approach to ending this public health threat and outline a way forward that gets lead out of our homes, our water and all other sources of danger to Michigan's kids.

"We look forward to working with the administration and the board to make this a successful effort," Kolb added. "The tragedy in Flint has shown us that this important work can't wait."

Creating the board was one of the recommendations of the Flint Water Advisory Task Force, which Kolb co-chaired. As a state representative in 2003, Kolb also sponsored legislation that established a similar commission under then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

There is no safe blood lead level for children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lead poisoning causes permanent brain damage linked to diminished IQ, difficulty learning and behavioral problems such as aggressiveness and hyperactivity that contribute to above-average incarceration rates for lead-poisoned people. Lead-poisoned children are seven times more likely to drop out of high school and six times more likely to enter the juvenile justice system.

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Andy McGlashen: (517) 420-1908
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