Almost 80% Of Michigan Children Under 6 Have Detectable Lead In Their Blood
A study conducted between 2018 and 2020 found that more than half of children under the age of 6 in the United States had detectable lead in their blood. And sadly, about four in five children in Michigan under the age of 6 have detectable levels of lead in their blood.
Over 1 million children under the age of 6 had blood tests analyzed by Quest Diagnostics between October 2018 and February 2020 as part of the study. Michigan had one of the highest levels of lead contamination with a whopping 78% of children under 6 having detectable lead in their blood. Only Nebraska and Missouri had higher percentages with 83% and 82% respectively.
Across the entire United States, over 50% of children under the age of 6 have been found to have detectable lead in their blood with higher exposure rates in "children in communities with pre-1950s housing or with public insurance or high poverty rates."
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no safe level of lead exposure in children. The WHO released this statement about lead exposure in children: "Lead exposure can have serious consequences for the health of children. At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with mental retardation and behavioural disorders."
Governor Whitmer has proposed spending $200M of COVID-19 relief dollars to replace lead pipes across Michigan. Additional funds may also become available from the Biden administration's infrastructure spending bill if it is passed in the United States Legislature.