To ensure the safety of Grand Rapids' children, the Healthy Homes Coalition began testing the water at the Baxter Child Development Center on Wednesday, July 19. The water testing, which will identify any lead hazards in the drinking water, is part of a larger project the Healthy Homes Coalition is conducting in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Along with protecting children, the project also has the goal of developing a commonsense protocol for water testing in child care facilities across the nation.
In Case of Emergency
In case of emergency dial 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.
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.
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.
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.
Exposure to Particulate Matter can trigger asthma symptoms as well as increase risk to respiratory and cardiovascular health.
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.
The Healthy Homes Coalition is continuing its partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in 2017 to test a new, emerging model for ensuing children have safe water when away from home by testing water in two Grand Rapids child care centers. The partnership with EDF builds upon a 2016 partnership where the organizations tested water for residents impacted by partial lead service line replacements.
When discussing the environmental dangers that could affect a family within the home setting many images come to mind. However, few are aware of one particular danger that is becoming more and more prevalent within our Michigan communities, vapor intrusion. Possible health problems that can be caused by vapor intrusion include negative impacts on cognitive and motor functions, several types of cancer, liver damage, kidney damage, and effects on the immune system.