IUPUI and the nonprofit ‘Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’ are working together to tackle one of the most dangerous threats to children– lead poisoning. 

An estimated 3.6 million American homes with at least one child have significant lead hazards.

That’s why ‘Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’ and IUPUI are launching a lead pilot program. And they just received a $10,000 grant from CareSource Indiana to get started.

The grant will fund the outreach and analysis of a pilot program at a new far east side green space under development in Indianapolis.

The goals of this program are to measure the lead content in the soil of a previously abandoned lot and transform that lot into a green space.

The project will begin in an east side neighborhood.

One of the reasons why project leaders chose this area is because of its demographic. 

“Lead exposure historically has disproportionately affected low income communities of color,” said Kyle Lowe, State Housing Strategy Lead for CareSource Indiana. “This health disparity has originated from practices like redlining and also practices like pollution, slight site selection.”

Experts say historically, lead poisoning has disproportionately affected Black and brown children.

That disparity is attributed to historic discriminatory practices, like redlining or selecting pollution sites.

CareSource plans to expand the pilot program to include other neighborhoods in Indianapolis affected by lead poisoning.

They will use things like geospatial analysis and data analysis to determine which communities and neighborhoods are at the highest risk of lead exposure.

If you’re a parent and concerned about lead poisoning in your child, we have a list of symptoms of lead poisoning to watch out for. That includes: developmental delay, learning difficulties, irritability, loss of appetite, weight loss, sluggishness and fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, hearing loss, seizures or eating things, such as paint chips, that aren’t food (pica). To learn more, click here.