House Democrats push for lead poisoning laws

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Samika Douglas, a mother and community liaison with Parents for Healthy Homes said it was a shocking realization, when she found out her son was suffering from lead poisoning.

“As a parent your greatest thing is to protect your baby,” Douglas said. “So to find out that there is something you’re not protecting them from you do be a little surprised and wonder how is it you have not known all this time,” she said.

This morning House Democrats announced news efforts to reduce lead poisoning in homes.

State Reps. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), John Cherry (D-Flint) and Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) announced a package of nine bills known as ‘Healthy Homes, Healthy Families’ that seek to protect against the dangers of lead poisoning.

The new bills would require lead poisoning screenings for minors and lead-based paint inspections for homes and rental units, make landlords responsible for paint hazards in rental housing units, and lower the lead action level to the CDC recommended level of 5 micrograms per deciliter.

Lawmakers also want to create the ‘Safe Cosmetics Act’ to prohibit the distribution, storage, or manufacture of tainted cosmetic products. One of the bills also calls for an excise tax that will collect 25 cents per gallon on architectural paint to be used for lead reduction programs.

State Representative, Sarah Anthony is co-sponsoring a bill that would lower the threshold of lead levels to CDC recommended levels.

“It’s making sure that we’re listening to the experts, listening to scientists across the country who are saying that in order to maintain safe levels we really want to keep below that level,” Anthony said.

To pass, representatives say the bills need bi-partisan support. Samika says she’s just hoping that no other kids get sick.

“This is something that we need to rectify, the babies are our future so if we don’t assist them know we won’t have a future,” she said.

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