DETROIT — In response to lead found in drinking water provided by the Garden City Department of Public Works, the Wayne County Department of Health, Human and Veterans Services Public Health Division is providing lead-reducing water filters to low-income households in Garden City with children or pregnant women, a press release said.
The free filters are part of a larger response that includes distributing educational materials and helping residents identify ways to lower their exposure to lead.
The filters will be available for pickup at the Maplewood Community Center, located at 31375 Maplewood from Wednesday, October 16 to Friday, October 18 between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to those who are eligible.
Because children and fetuses are most at risk of harm to their health from lead, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recommends that households with pregnant women or children use water filters.
If a household has a child or pregnant woman and receives WIC benefits, Medicaid insurance, or cannot afford a water filter, they can receive a free one (filters cost about $35, and their replacement cartridges cost about $15).
Drinking water provided by the Garden City Department of Public Works was found to be above the action level of 15 parts per billion in at least 10 percent of the homes tested in Garden City. When lead in drinking water is above the action level, public health officials recommend precautionary actions to protect residents, especially children and fetuses.
Swallowing lead can be a serious issue for children because their bodies and nervous systems are still developing.
Too much lead can cause problems with learning, behavior, speech, hearing and growth rates.
In homes with children or pregnant women, MDHHS recommends using only cold filtered water for drinking, rinsing food, cooking, mixing powdered infant formula and brushing teeth. Bottled water could also be used for these activities.
Any water filters should be certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 52 for lead reduction, the press release said. You can also reduce the amount of lead in your drinking water by regularly running the tap for at least five minutes before drinking or cooking.