HUD awards WSU nearly $700,000 for study on preventing lead exposure in children
Wayne State University has been awarded nearly $700,000 in federal funding to study protecting children from lead exposure in their homes, officials said.
The grant is part of $9.4 million the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has given to 13 universities to research ways to reduce housing-related health hazards, such as pests, injury hazards and asthma triggers.
“We remain committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all Americans, especially children, by creating safer and healthier homes,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said Wednesday in a statement. “This research will inform HUD and our partners in our efforts to protect families and eliminate housing-related health and safety hazards.”
HUD officials said WSU will be given $699,171 to partner with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, CLEARCorps Detroit and the Detroit Health Department to study the cost effectiveness of protecting children from lead exposure through improved temporary emergency relocations and new permanent voluntary relocations.
The goal of the study is to establish whether the policies are effective in reducing blood lead levels in children and then to compare the costs of relocation to the costs of current approaches.
5 Tips on Managing Utility Bills during the COVID-19 Crisis
The Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm has created a tip sheet on how to seek help if you are in need of assistance to keep your bills paid, your lights on, and your house warm. There are resources out there for you if you have hit difficult times during the coronavirus pandemic. Visit the coalition’s website at www.coalitiontokeepmichiganwarm.org
The Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm has highlighted programs currently in operation to help you with your energy bills during the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order.
From tips to save on energy or how to get things on track if your bill is not affordable, these flyers provide information on how to help you navigate your utility bills while we are all changing the way we conduct our business. Make sure to look into how you could contact your utility service or apply for the Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP).
The City of Detroit Health Department and Department of Neighborhoods are hosting updates on the work being done to address the coronavirus locally.
These updates can be accessed via telephone by dialing the number and entering the meeting ID, followed by pressing #. See below to find out when your neighborhood’s update will be taking place!
Make sure to note that there are specific calls to each district. Call in to get an update from your local government about your neighborhood and the coronavirus.
As always, stay safe and stay healthy!
With seasonal allergies beginning, we face a challenging time due to similar symptoms displayed by COVID-19. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) highlights the key differences so you can know whether you need to refer to your Asthma Action Plan or contact your healthcare provider for more urgent assistance. Below is a chart from AAFA that shows various symptoms of COVID-19, the common cold, the flu, and seasonal allergies:
Some key tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you have asthma:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Take asthma medications daily to keep asthma under control
- Practice social distancing: Staying 6 feet apart when you are near people and only leave your home for essential travel (work, healthcare, and groceries)
For more information on COVID-19 and asthma, please visit AAFA!
We are excited to talk about the scope of lead hazards in Detroit’s housing stock at Lead-U-Cation!
Hosted by Brick + Beam Detroit, the panel discussion will be on Thursday February 27th, starting at 5:30pm and held at Holding House Detroit, 3546 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216.
Tickets are just $5 for Detroiters and $8 for Metro-Detroiters and includes dinner from Rocky’s Road Tacos!
As we wrap up National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, it’s incredibly important to understand that our homes can affect our health and safety. Particularly in older communities like ours, we find that building components contain toxic materials like lead. To finish off our highlights on lead poisoning prevention, we are sharing best practices on how to keep your family safe:
- Get your child test for lead! Start at nine months with their doctor, then retest each year until age six.
- Wash children’s hands, toys, bottles, and pacifiers often.
- Include a diet for your family rich in calcium and iron while avoiding fatty and sugary foods.
- Wet clean weekly by mopping floors, and spraying/wiping window sills, window wells, and baseboards.
- Do not let children play in bare dirt, near windows, or on porches with old paint.
- Take your shoes off at the door to prevent tracking lead dust in from outside.
- Only use cold tap water to cook or to make baby formula. Flush your pipes in the morning before you drink the water. Water standing in pipes for several hours can contain lead.
- When repairing or remodeling your home, do not let children near work areas. Clean thoroughly and work lead safe!
- Make sure that anyone who works in construction or auto repair changes their clothes and showers before greeting or holding children. Separate dirty work clothes from other laundry.
For more information, go to the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention page from the CDC or refer to our Lead Poisoning 101 Book!
In October, we raise awareness for lead poisoned children in our community and how we can prevent future contact with lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned the sale and use of lead-based paint in homes. Many of our communities have an aging housing stock with deteriorating conditions, creating hazards where children encounter lead-based paint. Sources can be found in the paint on walls, porches, door frames, windows, windowsills, and many other aging painted components of homes. Lead dust is created from deteriorating paint, which can settle onto floors, children’s toys, and other items around the home. The only way to know for sure where and how much lead-based paint in a home is through a Lead Inspection Risk Assessment from a certified inspector. If a presence of lead is found in the home, it is important to have your child’s blood lead level tested. Acting promptly after learning of a lead presence in your home or in your child is the best way to address the problem! Children with lead poisoning can develop brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavior problems, slow growth and development, and hearing and speech problems. Hiring a certified lead abatement contractor and contacting your local health department about lead abatement programs for income-qualified families can start you on the path to having a lead-safe home.
For more information on local programs, you can contact the Detroit Health Department Lead Program online or call at: (313) 876-0133
This article highlights an important notion – that it is always important to investigate studies. Even though the number of children with elevated lead levels has decreased, testing has also dropped. With a smaller number of people having their children tested, there are cases of unidentified lead poisoning that do not get entered into this count.
With an aging housing stock, it’s more important than ever to have your child tested for elevated blood lead levels. If your house was built before 1978, there is a possibility that lead hazards exist in your home. Taking preventative steps can ensure the health of your child and create a healthy environment in your home.
To read the full article published by Bridge Magazine, click here.