Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Best Way to Protect You and Your Family from Lead is with Proper Prevention-- Learn How Here

In New York City and State, students and faculty of Columbia Law college published their research on how to protect children from lead and its hazards. Read below to see their key takeaways. Lead exposure in NY is the same here at home in Michigan and we can use this research to help protect our families as well!

Primary prevention techniques can be broken down into the following: Identify, Prevent, Adopt, and Protect.
  • The first step is to identify all current hazards and the main issue in the homes in New York like the ones in Michigan are from paint in pre-1978 homes. By locating these hazards and allocating funds-- in the case of NYC, requiring the landlords/homeowners to pay-- the contamination risk is already lowered.
  • Preventing other potential risks is made effective by state’s adopting RRP (Renovation, Repair, and Painting) programs. Only 12 states have adopted the program through the EPA with Michigan being one. The program requires inspectors to be certified in lead education and removal processes. In addition, they must recertify each year as standards and effective methods are ever-changing. Advocates in Michigan are working to run the RRP program here currently.
  • Adopting the RRP standards ensures that all parts of the prevention process are being followed. The EPA does not have lead prevention as its top priority which leaves the main effort to state and local governments.
  • Finally, to protect the rights of the homeowners, implementing home certification processes. The homeowner must have full-disclosure and should know the state of risk in any pre-1978 home, what said risks can do to the household, and be able to request inspections when risks are suspected. Homes that have gone through these steps should be documented in the cities system and a formal document should be provided to the homeowner. MIALSH is working toward requiring a lead inspection before the sale or transfer of a home here in Michigan.
Overall collaboration between local and state governments of lead issues affecting the community is imperative to promoting the importance of the issue. As many other environmental issues take the front burner for the EPA, attention, and pressure from local and state like advocates like we have in Michigan is necessary to produce meaningful and effective policies and keep lead on the front burner at EPA. Educating medical personnel will have a large effect on family education in areas where this is the greatest risk too. It takes a village to protect our families and these latest findings help confirm that empowering homeowners and renters, engaging medical professionals and working with advocates in all levels of state and local government is the key to success.

For entire research and analysis, follow here: https://www.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/clinics/health-advocacy/final_lead_poisoning_prevention_best_practices_report_october_2019_final.pdf