The state stops nonprofit after the child gets sick


Public health officials are reviewing work done by a nonprofit organization in Detroit over the last 11 years to remove nearly 600 homes from lead paint after a child has recently fallen sick in a house treated.

The state issued a stop-work order to CLEARCorps / Detroit in early December, after investigators had discovered that there were still risks of lead in a Detroit-treated house after the Child who lived there had a positive result in hypertension, according to a state official.

"There was an investigation to find where the show was and that led to the house," said Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. "We are actively looking at the houses they've built."

The non-profit organization has contracted with the state as part of the Lead Safe Homes program to eliminate the dangers of lead in the Detroit metropolitan area since 2007, and has worked on approximately 600 homes in this area. time. Investigators have discovered lead hazards in five other homes up to now as part of the review, Sutfin said.

Sutfin said that the state did not know how many 600 homes he would physically examine, but had sent letters to all. Local health services also made contact with the occupants.

Of the 600 homes, about 550 are in Detroit and the rest in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties.

In a written statement, Mary Sue Schottenfels, executive director of CLEARCorps, said she took "the concerns of the state with the utmost seriousness".

"We value our partnership with the state of Michigan and look forward to continuing to work together to help the children of Detroit," said Schottenfels. "CLEARCorps Detroit welcomes the state's due diligence and joins their efforts to protect children."

Schottenfels did not want to comment directly on what happened in the event that the child subsequently fell ill in one of the homes in which he had worked. But she said that they had made "a special effort to report this case and request the involvement of (the state) / Council."

It's unclear what remaining lead hazards have been found in homes, said Sutfin.

And we do not know how high the blood lead level of the sick child was. Sutfin said that she did not have this information and that the Detroit Department of Health was working with the family. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Director and Head of Health Department, would make no comment to protect the privacy of the child.

The lead paint commonly used in homes before 1978, ingested from chips or dust, is considered to be the main cause of lead poisoning in children. High blood lead levels can have serious and lasting effects, leading to developmental problems, behavioral problems and learning difficulties.

The state refers homes to CLEARCorps that require work. They then hire and supervise state-approved contractors and proceed with an authorization at the end of each project. This work may include the complete elimination of hazards associated with the house's lead paint and its cover or a combination of both.

RichardGlesser, Licensed Lead Risk Appraiser in Ohio and a member of the Cleveland Lead Safe Network, said it was not uncommon to see a danger back in a home when it was not in danger. there were "interim controls", such as hazard tracking, that are used to contain the lead rather than suppressing it entirely.

Removing lead from old homes can be expensive, starting at $ 15,000 or more for large properties, he said.

The state could not immediately tell how much he had paid for the group's work since 2007. The Detroit Department of Health makes contact with the families of the homes serviced in Detroit.

"We provide education and lead testing for children and homes, as well as nurse case management," Khaldun wrote in an e-mail.

Sutfin said that she no longer knew any children who had high blood lead levels in the treated homes.

Detroit neighborhoods are among the highest percentages of lead poisoning among Michigan children, including 48206, an area west of the John C. Lodge and north of West Grand Boulevard. In 2017, 19.2% of children aged six and under had high blood lead levels. In the city as a whole, it was 7.4%, down from 8.8% in 2016.

State officials said they would pay for the work to be completed if lead hazards were discovered. Landlords or tenants whose properties have been processed by CLEAR / Corp. Detroit may call the Hot Home Hotline at 866-691-5323.

The State "shall ensure that the work is performed by all subcontractors in accordance with applicable industry standards, rules and regulations," Sutfin wrote in an email.

"MDHHS is overseeing the work that ClearCorp was doing / was underway, in addition to any new referrals through the Healthy Homes program, so the work is still ongoing."