The Silent Lead Contamination Crisis
The pediatrician who helped expose the Flint lead contaminated water crisis is offering some worrisome data about housing conditions in Kalamazoo. Dr. Mona Hana-Attisha is partnering with Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services to address concerns of lead poisoning in city neighborhoods. WOOD-TV is reporting that the neighborhood group claims Kalamazoo’s lead problem is a silent pediatric epidemic and believes many Kalamazoo residents are unaware of its existence or severity.
The neighborhood group points to a 2016 report detailing lead testing which reveals that children under six years old living in Kalamazoo County had elevated blood lead counts, twice the level of kids tested in Flint.
But Kalamazoo’s water supply is not the issue. It’s lead based paint found in many city homes. Dr. Hanna-Attisha says, “It’s no surprise because that’s a condition throughout our state whenever you have older homes (with) deteriorating paint.” The report identifies the zip codes 49001 and 49007 as having the highest lead level rates in Kalamazoo County, with the lead exposure primarily coming from lead-based paints.