SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Redford Township announced this week that dangerous levels of lead were found in drinking water in multiple homes during their annual testing.
Approximately 31 homes with known lead service lines were tested, and four had lead levels above 15 parts per billion. Lead is a toxic heavy metal that can cause developmental, behavioral, and other health issues in children. Exposure can cause reproductive problems, high blood pressure, memory issues, and other health issues in adults. There are no safe levels of lead exposure.
Harper Woods also announced high levels of lead in their water supply. They tested approximately 30 homes, with four testing above 15 parts per billion.
Federal rules for lead in water go by 90th percentile readings. Test samples are ranked from the highest levels of lead to the lowest; the total number of tests taken is multiplied by 90 percent, and whatever lead level that number sample has is the reading upon which regulators rely.
The 90th percentile sample of the Redford tap water was 22 parts per billion, exceeding the state action level of 15 parts per billion. The 90th percentile sample of the Harper Woods supply is 47 parts per billion, also exceeding the state action level. There are a number of serious consequences that can result from this form of poisoning, including:
- Loss of IQ points
- Speech problems
- Developmental delays
- Loss of learning capacity
- Hyperactivity and attention disorder (ADHD)
- Delinquent and criminal behavior
- Brain damage
- Wrongful death
Lead poisoning is devastating to both children and the community. Studies have confirmed that high blood lead levels can cause ADHD and other conditions that adversely affect a child’s ability to learn in school and engage socially with other children. The long-term effects are illiteracy, poverty, and criminal conduct.
The published State of Michigan Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program statistics show that in 2013, there were 5,702 children under six years old in Michigan diagnosed with blood lead levels greater than 5 ug/dl. The numbers are even higher in many previous years and only include children who were tested for lead poisoning. These poisonings affect generations of families, most of who were already born into lives with significant obstacles to overcome.
If you or someone you care about lives in Redford Township and believe you or your family may have been exposed to lead, a mobile health unit provided by the Wayne County Health Department will be onsite to conduct lead blood testing from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Redford Township Community Center, 12121 Hemingway (north of Plymouth Rd, west of Beech Daly Rd.) Redford, MI 48239.
The Redford Township Water Department will begin collecting water samples from 60 homes every six months and review the results to determine whether corrective actions are necessary to reduce corrosion in household plumbing. Redford Township water customers who would like their service line inspected can contact the department at 313-387-2670. More information is available on the township’s online public advisory.
If you or someone you care about lives in Harper Woods, residents are eligible for a filter for free if they live in a home where a Medicaid-enrolled child under 19 or a Medicaid-enrolled pregnant person resides. There is a free water filter distribution event on Thursday, Nov. 2 and Friday, Nov. 3 at the Harper Woods NEDC Building in the 20010 block of Kelly Road from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
If you or your child has suffered after being exposed to the water in Redford Township or Harper Woods, you may be overwhelmed. Contact us today for your free consultation.