LANSING, Mich., May 5, 2023 — State Rep. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) introduced House Bill 4532 yesterday, which aims to better protect children and families from the hazards of lead-based paint and other lead-based materials when homes and businesses are under renovation and repair. The legislation would require certain lead-safe construction practices that protect workers and families from preventable exposures to lead, bringing Michigan in alignment with regulatory requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

“Keeping children safe, in hazard-free homes with clean water, is not up for debate,” Hood said. “Updating our renovation and repair rules to meet the new EPA standards is necessary for our kids and communities. Enacting these changes is required to secure federal funding lead-elimination partnerships in Michigan.”

Without intervention, children who are exposed to lead may have reduced IQs and problems with attention, learning, behavior, hearing and speech that can impact them throughout their lives. Even low levels of lead in the blood can damage the brain and nervous system, and in very high doses, it can be fatal. Lead poisoning is particularly high in Michigan and other states in the Great Lakes region because of the high percentage of homes built before 1978, when lead paint was banned. Crumbling water infrastructure and heavy industrial production also contribute to Michigan’s lead issues.