Notre Dame Lead Innovation Team offering free screening and remediation of lead hazards

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The “Mulch Madness” event is an annual service provided by the Notre Dame Lead Innovation Team with support from students. 

The annual one-day event will take place around 9:30 A.M. on Saturday in partnership with the Monroe Park Neighborhood Association.

Monroe Park is one of the areas of South Bend where there are elevated levels of lead, mostly due to housing stock from 1978. 

Lead-tainted soils in these areas are caused by contamination from old house paint which can leave a risk for children who are around it. 

By spreading mulch on soil grounds with high levels of lead concentration, it helps reduce and contain the spread of lead. 

Student organizer Joshua Brooks tells me that lead poisoning affects childhood development at the age where it’s most important. 

“If you have children under the age of 7, those can face the highest risk. We can see a lot of serious health problems that come from this in terms of neurological damage, growth and development, learning behavioral issues and the list goes on,” Brooks said. 

Brooks also tells me that some families can qualify for a free screening and free remediation of lead hazards to help reduce the risk of lead poisoning. 

“Definitely we're excited by it because who doesn’t want a free mulching job but that’s how we had the opportunity to explain the importance of it. One of the things we asked every house that we knocked on doors is how much door you know about the issue of lead poisoning and a lot of people would say not that much,” Brooks said. 

Brooks says that events like these help reduce the exposure of lead and informs the community about issues affecting their families.


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