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A 38 year old, Trenton-based nonprofit that fosters self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities.

Testing the Waters

In 2015, a sharp-eyed physician in Flint, Michigan noticed a spike in child lead poisoning, and traced it back to the Flint water supply. How does Trenton compare to Flint? In 2017, we set out to research that question. We had tested thousands of homes for lead in the dust, because we knew that the vast majority of lead affecting kids was caused by old paint in their home. We launched a unique, multi-year project in partnership with Professor John Higgins of Princeton University to test the water coming into homes and apartments, as well as the homes’ dust. By 2018, we tested more than 550 homes for lead in paint, water and soil, asthma triggers and other health threats – while educating the residents.

We found a good news, bad news, good news situation. The good news is that only 8% of the homes had lead in water higher than the standard for human health. (Those families received a water filter.) More permanent solutions to their water problems are in the works. Similar to our other tests across the city, however, more than 55% of homes tested positive for lead paint. The other good news? Those units can apply for Isles’ no-cost lead hazard control services, giving owners up to $12,000 of lead safe repairs.

Read more highlights in our 2018 Annual Report.