By Lauren Cross
A coalition of doctors, lawyers, advocacy groups and others are urging the Indiana State Health Department to lower its blood sampling threshold triggering aid for children suffering lead poisoning.
It’s a move that could make Indiana children safer, Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer said. That’s especially true for children living in older housing, in which lead paint is often the culprit, he said.
Neighborhoods in Gary, Michigan City, East Chicago, Hammond and Whiting have recorded some of the highest rates of lead-poisoned children in the Region and the state, thanks to the area’s aged housing stock and legacy of contamination from industry.
Mark Templeton, an attorney at the University of Chicago Law School’s Abrams Environmental Law Clinic, said Daniels is just one example of how a lower threshold would have meant quicker intervention — when the services could have more impact.
“Moreover, parents and other community members might have started asking more questions earlier about the source of the contamination, which could have brought greater attention to the issues at the Superfund site and might have spared others from the effects of the contamination,” Templeton said. “Unfortunately, East Chicago is not the only area in Indiana with lead contamination problems …”
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