Environment Picture
Topic: Public Health

Help us win $50,000 to protect Michigan children from lead poisoning

A moment of your time can help MEC put a stop to preventable tragedy
It's time for Michigan to get the lead out.

If you could spend a small sum of money to save a child from brain, liver and kidney damage, developmental delays, and even death, you’d act immediately. Wouldn’t you?

Unfortunately, Michigan is not. Our state has failed to invest in testing and abatement—measures that we know are effective in preventing lead poisoning.

As a result, thousands of our kids are diagnosed each year with this serious environmental illness, which robs them of their potential to live healthy and successful lives. Studies show that these children will perform more poorly than their peers in school and on standardized tests. They also will drop out of high school at a higher rate.

This is no accident. We have known about this problem—and how to prevent it—for decades. Kids must be tested for lead in their blood, high-risk children must be identified, and lead-based paint must be safely removed from homes built before it was banned in 1978.

If we invest the time and money—and the will—we know these programs will work. Unfortunately, state leaders haven’t made those investments. High-risk children are not being tested. There is a stunning 18-month wait list for lead clean-up in homes.

Enough is enough. Our children’s future should not hinge on fluctuations in our economy and an unwillingness to spend money on fool-proof programs.

That’s why the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) is working with partners to identify a steady source of long-term funding to test kids for lead poisoning and remove lead from their homes.

Here’s how you can help:

MEC is in the running for a grant through the Pepsi Refresh Project. If we are among the top ten vote-getters, Pepsi will donate $50,000 to our efforts to prevent lead poisoning.

To get started, please sign up for your account on the Refresh Project website. It only takes about a minute. Once you sign up, you can vote every day from July 1 to July 31 in all of the following ways:

* Sign in at the Refresh Project website and vote for our project; http://www.refresheverything.com/endleadpoisoning

* Again, go to our page, but this time choose the “Login with Facebook” option;

* Vote with your phone by texting our project code (107598) to Pepsi (73774)

You can also register for power votes, which are worth up to 100 regular votes. If you already buy Pepsi, Diet Pepsi or Pepsi Max, please use the power vote code under your bottle cap and on specially marked packages. You can also obtain a power vote code by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to Pepsi Refresh Power Votes, P.O. Box 760023, El Paso, TX 88576-0023.

Please vote often, and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. And while you can vote for up to five projects every day, please do not vote for others in the $50,000 category, since we are competing against them for the funding.

Your votes will help give all Michigan kids a fair shot at a bright future. Thank you!

P.S. Need a daily reminder to vote? Sign-up for a daily email message.
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