In Case of Emergency

In case of emergency dial 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.

Particulates

What are Particulates?

Particulate matter (PM) is a mixture of particles that usually consist of inorganic and organic chemicals, carbon, sulfates, nitrates, metals, acids, and semi-volatile compounds. 

 

The Source

Particulates can come from a number of sources including household cleaners, chemical air fresheners, cigarette smoke, and unventilated gas stoves and heaters.

 

Who is at Risk?

Children inhale at greater rates than adults and are at greater risk for inhaling particulate matter. Their bodies are more susceptible to damage from particulates. Children and adults with asthma are also at greater risk.

 

Symptoms

People may experience a sore throat, burning eyes, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of chest, and chest pain due to breathing particulates. Particulates also trigger asthma in children and adults. 

 

Health Impacts

Exposure to Particulate Matter can trigger asthma symptoms as well as increase risk to respiratory and cardiovascular health.  

 

Solutions

Green cleaning is one of the most simple ways to clear the air.  Replace harsh cleaning products with less toxic alternatives.  This includes putting away the air fresheners and incense.  Use essential oils instead.  For more ideas, see the resources section of this page.

Environmental tobacco smoke is an especially harmful particulate.  Make your home smoke free by helping people to quit or taking the smoking outside.  Be sure that outside smokers stand far away from the building.

Properly maintaining and venting gas stoves and while using gas heaters is also important.

Many hobby and craft items and construction materials can also put particulates into the air.  Read the labels of the products you use and follow the manufacturer's directions for ventilation.  Consider moving children out of the home when using especially harsh materials like adhesives.

To check the local outdoor air quality and PM rating, check the Michigan Air Quality Index. Consider closing up the home on high-risk days.

 

Did You Know...

It's easier to prevent exposure to chemical contaminants than to remove them from the human body.

Mayor Bliss Commits to Tackling Lead Aggressively

In her State of the City address on Thursday night, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss made it clear that fixing lead poisoning is a major priority for Grand Rapids.

"The recent increase in lead poisoning is a call to action," said Mayor Bliss. 

"Children should not only feel safe in our city. They must be safe. Especially in their own homes."


Persistence Pays Off for Healthy Homes, Kids

Momentum continues to build fast to solve the problem of children being exposed to lead in Grand Rapids – and to keep kids from hurting in our community. The culmination of two years of work is lining up across the city, county, and state – a change which will help families provide safe housing for their children.

Healthy Homes is leading the charge.


So the Big Question is...

Nyi’Cear is a local seven year old girl. She loves to play and she smiles easily, like most seven year olds do. But, her journey is far from typical. She is a victim of lead poisoning. The following video depicts her long-term struggles following that initial diagnosis.

"So the big question is: what are we doing about this? What, as a community, are we doing about lead poisoning?"