Skip to main content

All Michigan Families Encouraged to Learn More, Reduce Lead Exposure in Homes

For Immediate Release: October 29, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Nearly half a million children in the United States have elevated blood lead levels that could cause significant damage to their health, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 3,000 Michigan children test positive for lead poisoning each year. Elevated blood lead levels in children is based on 5 micrograms per deciliter or higher.

In response to recent elevated blood lead levels detected in some Flint children, as well as in support of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 25-31, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is working to raise awareness and education around childhood lead poisoning prevention across the state.

“Awareness is the best defense against lead poisoning, and unfortunately in Michigan, we know that we still have too many children exposed to lead,” said Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive with MDHHS. “By making parents and caregivers aware of exposure hazards and teaching them safe cleaning and remediation practices, we can go a long way toward ensuring that children don’t suffer lifelong health impacts from lead poisoning.”

Levels in some Flint children increased after a 2014 change in water source. To address this, MDHHS is continuing to offer free NSF-certified water filters to residents and supporting the actions of the Genesee County Health Department. Further, an action plan to test all at-risk children in Flint is being implemented in partnership with local providers, health plans, and community organizations.

Major sources of lead exposure to U.S. children include lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating buildings. Children can also be exposed to lead from additional sources including contaminated drinking water, take-home exposures from a workplace, and lead in soil. 

This year's NLPPW theme, "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future," underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects. Parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead in many ways, including:

  • Get your Home Tested. If you live in a home built prior to 1978 or before you buy an older home, ask for a lead inspection.
  • Get your Child Tested. Even if your young children seem healthy, talk to your healthcare provider about testing them for lead.
  • Get the Facts. For more information, contact the Michigan Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at 888-322-4453 or visit or  

# # #