From The Headlines

by Brian Allnutt, in partnership with Planet Detroit

Demolitions, lead, and Detroit’s kids: Ahead of Detroit’s vote on city Proposition N — which seeks to raise $250 million to demolish 8,000 homes and secure 8,000 more — the Detroit Free Press revealed that in 2018, Detroit continued with its demolition program in five ZIP codes — 48202, 48204, 48206, 48213 and 48214 — identified as high-risk for childhood lead exposure in a 2017 Detroit Health Department report, even after it said it would halt non-emergency demos in those areas. The Detroit Health Department said there was no evidence of a connection between demolitions and elevated blood levels in 2018 and 2019. However, another city analysis of the period between 2014 and 2018 showed children living within 400 feet of demolition were 19% more likely to have elevated blood lead levels within 45 days of the teardowns. Children exposed to two or more demolitions were 63% more likely to have elevated levels. (Detroit Free Press)