Ingham County Commissioner John Nevin will propose a resolution to the county board to help put residents' minds at ease. He says everyone should be able to get the lead-testing kits. He will ask for $20,000 to help these families get free testing kits. He says many of these families have young children or the women may be pregnant.
The Board of Water and Light has sent out letters to residents to inform them that 14,000 homes will have their pipes replaced in the next 10 years.
Health officials say the amount of lead in water is not likely to cause health problems. These issues will be discussed at the county board meeting on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ingham County Courthouse.
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Getting the Lead Out
- Lead was banned from house paint in 1978.
- U.S. food canners quit using lead solder in 1991.
- The 25-year phase-out of lead in gasoline reached its goal in 1995.
- Adults absorb about 11 percent of lead reaching the digestive tract
- Children may absorb 30 to 75 percent of lead reaching the digestive tract.
- When lead is inhaled, up to 50 percent is absorbed, but less than one percent of lead is absorbed when it comes in contact with the skin.
- The body stores lead mainly in bone, where it can accumulate for decades.
- Calcium deficiency especially increases lead absorption, as does iron deficiency, which can also increase lead damage to blood cells.
- A high-fat diet increases lead absorption, and so does an empty stomach.
Risks of Lead
- Lead disrupts the functioning of almost every brain neurotransmitter.
- While a child's chronic exposure to relatively low lead levels may result in learning or behavioral problems.
- Higher levels of exposure in children can be associated with anemia and changes in kidney function, as well as significant changes in the nervous system that may include seizures, coma and death.
- In adults, lead poisoning can contribute to high blood pressure and damage to the reproductive organs.
- Severe lead poisoning in adults can cause subtle loss of recently acquired skills, listlessness, bizarre behavior, incoordination, vomiting, altered consciousness, seizures, coma and death
- By the time symptoms appear, damage is often already irreversible.