Could home demolition program be spreading lead dust?

By Keith Matheny

December 19, 2015


“Jeremy Westcott’s Environmental Testing and Consulting, based in Romulus, is one of several companies doing asbestos testing for the city’s demolition program. Asbestos has far stricter regulations in demolitions, he said.  “They just don’t have the same kinds of rules for lead,” he said. “There’s nothing for people who live in the area.”

… evidence is clear that demolition is a significant contributor to lead dust pollution, “especially in a place like Detroit, where there’s so much demolition going on,” said David Jacobs, research director for the National Center for Healthy Housing and a lead author on scientific studies reviewing demolition dust’s lead impacts in other U.S. cities.”

“There is no safe level,” said Felicia Rabito, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. “Lead is not supposed to be in our body. …  This is a known neurotoxin. It’s known to affect children’s brains, their development, many other organ systems.”