Environment Picture

Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing succeeds in gaining additional state budget funds to save children from lead poisoning

The state legislature passed a budget in June that included $500,000 more for lead abatement, raising the total for lead remediation in the 2015 budget to $1.75 million. The Safe Homes/Safe Kids: Michigan Alliance for Lead Safe Housing (MIALSH) coalition brought people to the Capitol in advance of the budget hearings for a day of outreach to state policymakers. Coalition members also testified before both the House and Senate during the budget process.

MIALSH is a statewide advocacy group formed to secure adequate and sustainable funding for lead poisoning prevention. Its diverse membership includes public health agencies, lead service providers, lead affected families, lead contractors and inspectors, environmental health organizations, and the landlord community.

MEC Health Policy Director Tina Reynolds serves as the lead coordinator. Its core leadership team includes representatives from the Detroit Lead Partnership, including CLEARCorps/Detroit, as well as the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, Michigan Council for Maternal & Child Health, the Michigan Department of Community Health, Lyke Thompson of Wayne State University, and the Ecology Center.

Economics of lead exposure
The good budget news came on the heels of a report showing that the economic impact of children’s lead exposure in Michigan is $330 million per year. The report, featured in a Detroit Free Press editorial, was released by the University of Michigan Risk Science Center and the Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health. MEC member group Ecology Center leads the network. MEC’s Reynolds is an active member of the network and served on the review team for the study. The report is online at www.mnceh.org.
-Elizabeth Fedorchuk
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