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Detroit Free Press publishes guest column by WSU's Center for Urban Studies director

April 18, 2013

Lyke Thompson, director of the Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University and project coordinator of the Detroit/Wayne County Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, wrote a guest column about progress made in halting lead poisoning and the reductions in funding. Since 1998 Detroit has experienced an 89 percent decrease in lead poisoning in young children (4,846 children in 1998 to 545 in 2011) while the State of Michigan has experienced a 87 percent decrease (7,144 children in 1998 to 950 in 2011). Thompson attributes the success in part to the strategic collaboration by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), HUD, the EPA, Michigan Department of Community Health, the City of Detroit, CLEARCorps Detroit, Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University, the Kresge and Skillman foundations, the Wayne County prosecutor, and others. Thompson wrote: "Despite these achievements, earlier this year the CDC's administration decided to walk away from its success, and cut off its grants to states and localities, leaving a program it built to wither on the vine." He concludes: "We must continue to protect the health of the most vulnerable among us. The CDC, Michigan Department of Community Health, City of Detroit and others need to provide continued support to help guard children from the ravages of lead poisoning."