Ingham Co. Health Department urges children get tested for lead

Posted at 6:50 PM, Oct 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-21 18:50:00-04

The Ingham County Health Department is urging parents to get their kids tested for lead exposure. The issue is paint especially in older homes.

The county has seen fewer lead exposure cases than in previous years (less than 200 cases) but even that number is too high for the county.

“You want to be concerned with chipping and any places where you can potentially create a lead paint dust,” said Linda Vail, Health Officer at the Ingham County Health Department. “Windows are a common source of that because of the opening and closing of it creates that friction and eventually rubs the dust off.”

Homes built before 1978 often used lead based paint on walls which have since been banned.

If you haven't done so already, it’s a good idea to have your walls tested.

“Lowes and Home Depot and all of those kinds of places have some very basic screening kits that is like a swipe that gives you an idea if you have a lead issue,” said Vail.

If you do find lead levels in your home's paint, it’s important not to panic. A presence of lead does not always equal that of a lead hazard.

Simply painting over the existing coat will not help matters.

“I don't care how many layers of paint down in there it is, you're getting down to those layers,” said Vail.

Parents often won’t notice signs of lead exposure until it's beyond time for action. That's why a simple test could save children from potential life altering complications.

“Know what's going on in your home and know that part of the status of your child's health,” said Vail.

The City of Lansing and the county health department are using $2.3 million dollars in grant money to either seal or remove lead-based paint from homes.