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Lead Poisoning Prevention Month 2014: Mama Brandi in Kalamazoo

This is a story written by Mama Brandi in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  A version of her story also appeared in the OcBranditober 2014 issue of Angie’s List Magazine.  Click HERE to read the Angie’s List Magazine piece.

Mama Brandi’s story (originally written in Spring 2014):

I bought my house in August 2012.
The City I live in sold it to me without giving me lead disclosures.
I had it tested by Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) in January of 2013. My results came back that my house and soil was contaminated with high levels of lead.
My 7 year old son’s blood level was 8.2.
The City agreed to a settlement to have my home lead abated. No ebl investigation was done but I hired a contractor to do my lead abatement right away. We were in a hotel for 3 months while it was done.
I received a lead clearance saying the home was safe in June 2013.
I became suspicious because I was seeing visible paint chips and work did not look completed in certain areas and the walls were bubbling.
MDCH sent me a file in December 2013 saying my contractors used Unsafe Work Practices and were found guilty of 9 violations.
I should have been told sooner!
I then had a follow up test done.
Lead was still found in high concentrations in my home and soil.
I felt betrayed and scared.
This contractor is still working for MDCH. I was shocked.
My son had a follow up blood test and thankfully his blood lead level (BLL) went down when we were in the hotel.
Now that we are back in our home, I cannot have vistors or have my son play in the yard until it is cleaned.
I have used lead cleaners throughout my home and spackled over cracks.
No shoes can be worn inside.
I thought the contractor’s insurance would do the right thing and clean this up but I had to file a lawsuit against them and the clearance company.
I’ve been sick too. My white blood count has been high from the stress and anxiety and I had to get tested for cancer which was scary. My son has cried and asked me why MDCH didn’t care if he was poisoned.
I cried too and told him I would make sure we would be safe.  I explained that some times people can be negligent and that he is important just like all of the other children.
My local news team investigated the story and was as surprised as I am that this company is still being allowed to work on homes with children that have been poisoned.
My goal is to bring awareness to families that have abatements done, to explain to them that they can still have contamination even if their contractor is licensed.
You must get at least two independent clearance tests done to be sure your home is safe! I am still working to get my home and yard cleaned and still using precautions to keep my family safe.
This is my story.
Thank you,
Brandi Crawford-Johnson
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