Lead Hazards are Here: What Are You Prepared to Do?


WZZM 13 kicked off their week-long coverage of lead hazards, “West Michigan’s Lead Problem”, yesterday with an overview of lead poisoning in Kent County.

The five minute video captures a snapshot view of what’s happening in Grand Rapids: lead poisoning is up, over 600 kids in GR are known to have elevated lead levels, the most affected area is within the 49507 ZIP code. The video also touched briefly on how lead can influence the behavioral and mental health of children.

At the end of the video, one of the reporters starts to ask (somewhat tentatively) about accountability, “So, are they going to go after these landlords to help remove the paint…?”

The responsibility of dealing with lead is a tricky, complex problem without a single answer. But, WZZM’s coverage is a reminder of the simple truth: the kids in the community are still being hurt, and it isn’t their fault.  

So, what can you do about it?

There’s always the lingering belief that someone else in the trenches, someone is dealing with this. Someone who knows more, someone with more ability, someone with more power. Someone with more money. Someone with more time.

With lead, this is true, but it’s also not true. The city, county, and state are taking action, but your help is still needed. The momentum of lead advocacy is building, and you can be part of it.

What are you prepared to do?

If you haven’t already, you can learn more about lead in the community.  Keep watching WZZM 13’s coverage, check out the rest of Healthy Homes’ website, call with questions, watch out for city and county bills and policy changes, do online research.

Follow us on social media and share our content. Keep engaged with the movement as it unfolds. Talk to the people in your life about lead; do they know the extent of the issue? Can they help?

Volunteer your time, if you have some. Healthy Homes has a quarterly volunteer party for individuals and works with corporate groups. If you’re a parent, consider joining the advocacy group Parents for Healthy Homes, which meets monthly.

Contact your city, county, and state representatives. Let them know that lead is an issue that matters to you and your neighbors.

Make a financial donation, if you are able. Funds help keep Healthy Homes able to continue to serve affected families directly and to keep advocating for those families.

You clicked on this blog, and made it this far. That’s a sure start in helping keep kids safe. What else are you prepared to do to help kids reach their full potential?

Can you help build a better Grand Rapids?