This will be quite a lot of work for the Southern Baptist Disaster Recovery Team. They have already arrived and if you lived through the Miami disasters, their arrival can make a real difference, hot food, showers, washing machines and teams of people who can gut a house of its waterlogged sheet rock in a matter of minutes.
There is a deep hurt flood victims feel, profound loss, as many who have experienced the flooding in the Miami area can attest.
EPA held an open house in Ottawa County and as they say, "all the usual suspects" attended. Juli Matthews enticed her environmental science students to attend. Days later I got Bob Sullivan's hugs from Emma and Elaine when they heard the decision their yard issues would be completed.
DEQ's team and the State and County Health Department teams came lined up ready to meet the public and let them know they are going to do their parts to make our environment better and protect our children from lead poisoning.
LEAD did have a bake sale for DEQ and delivered our earnings, well over three dollars, which by consensus, they donated back to our youngest volunteer Hayden Daugherty, who at eight had pretty much run the sale. We'll do better during the 18th National Environmental Tar Creek Conference which will be held at the Miami Civic Center September 13 & 14 with your help and the brownies you bring for the sale.
I visited a 2 year old child this week who is one of the children all these agencies are lined up to protect. Her blood lead level has been rising and now is at 10 ug/dL. She told me all about having her venous blood test done in baby language, but the motions she used showing me her concern on her face as she indicated her arm and where the blood test was taken, taken again and yet again.
A grandmother asked me, why do they have to take so much blood? Why a finger stick AND a venous draw? The finger stick shows either positive or negative for lead. The venous is done to figure out how high the lead level is in the child's blood.
In recent decades blood lead levels across the U.S. have declined drastically. At the same time, evidence that relatively small amounts of lead in the blood can cause significant damage has mounted.
Researchers now know, blood lead levels in children as low as five micrograms per deciliter — the Centers for Disease Control's "level of concern" — can lead to IQ deficits and increases in behavior problems like ADHD and conduct disorder. In adults, low-level exposure of 10 micrograms per deciliter can cause high blood pressure and kidney problems.
When your child is checked for lead now at the health department, in only a few minutes, the nurse will be able to give results and if positive, a venous blood draw right then while you are already there which will determine the child's lead level!
Then the detective work begins. Where is that lead and how is it getting into your child? Lead poisoning is preventable. And to prevent it, you have to find out if your child is being poisoned. Proceed undaunted. It can be found and removed from your child's world.
It might be outside your home, perhaps in your yard, or your very driveway. DEQ will be able to step in and dig contaminated soil from your yard, replace it with clean soil or dig out a chat drive way and replace it with limestone gravel. Free. The best number to call is the DEQ Hotline 1-800-522-0206.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief has gained national and international recognition for their work in crisis situations across the country. They stand ready at a moment’s notice to help the hurting and bring hope during a catastrophe. These volunteers respond to disasters. They are people who put words into action. And our health and environmental teams are here for us in this man-made disaster.
As one of the latest flood victims said, "If they give us help, fine. Not a handout. Just a hand."
We are asking parents to allow your children and your yards to get tested. Our yards are dry, our homes are dry, the hope for your child is alive with you.
Respectfully Submitted ~
Your Tar Creekkeeper,