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West Michigan's Lead Problem

We are spending the week looking in to lead in West MIchigan; from what you need to know to what you can do about it.

At 13 ON YOUR SIDE, we are committed to taking on West Michigan’s Lead Problem and searching for solutions. West Michigan is hit hard with lead poisonings, and one zip code in particular has the highest number of cases in the state.

So we’re tackling the problem in the hopes of making our community safer for our families.


What is the problem?

LaRissa Adams was poisoned by lead when she was nine months old. Her parents had no idea it was an issue in their home. Their story leads us directly into West Michigan’s Lead Problem.

But the issue is not isolated to Grand Rapids. There are hotspots all around West Michigan. We take a look at the hardest hit areas in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties.


The Health Effects of Lead

When a family recently had a child test positive for lead, they didn’t know where to begin. To help others, we follow their journey to see what they’re going through and the ways they are getting help.

You may have heard various “facts” about lead and the dangers it creates, but what is true and what is a myth?

Anyone who grew up before 1978 most likely was exposed to lead paint. 13 ON YOUR SIDE Health Reporter Val Lego examines the long-term health problems associated with lead contact.


What should you do?

If you think your home may have lead in it, we demonstrate how to use a lead testing kit to check.

You’re renting your home. You have no idea about its history. What is your risk of lead exposure? How can you find a safe place? What should you do if you find lead? All these questions will be answered.

You can’t just scrape off lead paint and vacuum it up. We get a professional in lead removal to show the ordeal that is lead remediation.


What is being done to fix this?

The Healthy Homes Coalition is working hard to protect the people at risk for lead in West Michigan. We highlight the work being done in Grand Rapids to clean up the hot zone areas.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosaylnn Bliss joins us in studio to discuss her focus on ridding GR of lead.

What haven’t we answered? We are listening West Michigan! And we’re going to answer anything you think we’ve missed this past week. The questions you have given us will be the guide for our investigation and we’ll bring you the results.

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