A Watershed Moment: Get the Lead Out Program

On today’s Watershed Moment, we hear from Douglas Stek, the Housing Rehabilitation Supervisor for the City of Grand Rapids about the Get the Lead Out Program. The city of Grand Rapids was selected as the front city to apply for federal grants to address lead paint hazards.

Over the years, more than 1,200 units have been made lead-safe. The program has helped train over 600 people in lead-safe work practices to be certified renovators. Many landlords are involved with the program because it allows them to maintain lead-free properties without a great deal of cost.

Lead paint hazards are primarily found on the exterior of the home. The soil around the house has often been collecting lead paint for over a century. Windows are the biggest hazard because they are a friction surface.

“Things you can do to help yourself? Sure. If there’s defective paint, take care of it.” says Stek.

When removing lead paint, Douglas Stek advises to work wet. Misting the paint will help control dust. A HEPA filter vacuum is the most useful to collect any debris.

You can learn more about lead safety at www.grcity.us or www.gettheleadoutgr.org.

A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life. Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Mondays at 8:30 a.m, and Thursdays and Sundays at 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

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