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E-M:/ lead poisoning issues

Enviro-Mich message from Dave Dempsey <davemec@voyager.net>

The State Senate today took half a step in the right direction today by
passing a bill that will enable Michigan to abate lead hazards in homes.
But it avoided a giant step forward that would prevent children from being
exposed to lead poisoning in the first place.

The Senate approved S.B. 1047, which appears to meet minimum federal
requirements for a lead abatement contractor licensing and certification
law.  Michigan faces a June 1 deadline to enact such a law or risk losing
eligibility for federal lead abatement grants.

But on a 17-20 vote, the Senate rejected an amendment supported by a
broad-based coalition of children's advocates which would require the state
to report annually on the percentage of children screened for lead in blood
and make recommendations on how to improve that percentage.  A report
released last week by Michigan's Children and the Michigan League for Human
Services found that only 7% of children under the age of 6 are screened for
lead, far below the national average and one of the worst percentages in
the country.  The report estimated there are 38,600 children with
undetected lead poisoning in Michigan.

The House Health Policy Committee will take up its own version of the bill,
H.B. 5561, on May 5.
Dave Dempsey
Policy Director
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette, Suite 2A
Lansing, MI 48912

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