Feds paying for state lead abatement training

Capital News Service
LANSING — Some federal funds triggered by Flint’s water crisis can be used to remove lead from old homes statewide, but a shortage of contractors certified to do the work is an obstacle to getting the job done. “Money’s coming into the state triggered by Flint, but it’ll be used all around the state,” said Mary Sue Schottenfelds, executive director of CLEARCorps Detroit, a nonprofit organization that runs the Lead Safe Homes Program for city residents. “We are in desperate need of lead contractors who are certified and interested in state projects.”
To create more specialists, the state will use $20,000 of federal money to cover training and licensing costs for those looking to get certified in lead removal, said Jennifer Eisner, the public information officer for Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services. “Now there’s more of a push to get people certified because there’s going to be a lot of abatement work coming,” said Jay Wagar, senior certification officer of the state’s Healthy Homes Section. Earlier this year, Lansing was awarded $2.3 million in federal funds for lead abatement and Grand Rapids received $2.9 million.

Elevated levels of lead in adults unnoticed

Capital News Service
LANSING —  While the Flint water crisis brought national attention to children exposed to lead, a larger group of adults and children with elevated lead levels is mostly ignored, officials say.  
Young children whose parents have elevated blood lead levels are a high-risk group, health experts say. In Michigan, 34 percent of children under 6 with parents who have elevated lead levels also have elevated levels, according to a 2014 report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The lead comes home on the shoes and clothes of the parents who pick it up at work. “The percentage of children in this group is much higher than in Flint,” said  Ken Rosenman, chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Michigan State University.

Untapped: When your only potable water comes in a bottle

Capital News Service
FLINT — The view from the driveway is surprisingly normal: there is snow on the ground, the neighbors’ children are playing basketball in the street and the landscaping is meticulously manicured. Inside, family pictures adorn the walls, a television hangs above the fireplace and several houseplants complement the décor. This house could be any suburban home in the country. Except…various-sized water bottles fill drawers and cover countertops, and cases of bottled water are stacked in the mudroom. This is the home of Angel and Edeline Garcia, residents of Flint for the past 15 years and now victims of that city’s water crisis.