Indy Library Partners with IUPUI Center for Urban Health to Offer Free Lead Screening Kits to Community

11/02/2021
Indy Library Partners with IUPUI Center for Urban Health to Offer Free Lead Screening Kits to Community
Indy Library Partners with IUPUI Center for Urban Health to Offer Free Lead Screening Kits to Community

The Indianapolis Public Library has partnered with the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Center for Urban Health to help Marion County residents screen for lead around their homes. Free Lead Screening Kits can be used to screen water, paint, soil, and dust.

Kits are available at 13 Library locations (listed below). Once a participant collects their samples, which takes only about 20 minutes, they can return their Kit to the library to be sent to the IUPUI lab for processing. After just a few weeks, participants will receive a report indicating whether or not lead is present and ways to prevent lead exposure so they can make the best health and wellness decisions for their families.

“Lead is a serious health hazard and is especially concerning for small children six and under because exposure can lead to health issues and serious neurological problems if left undetected,” said Angela Herrmann, program manager at the IUPUI Center for Urban Health. “Knowing if you have lead hazards in your home environment is an important step to mitigating this potential health risk.”

The 13 libraries offering the kits are the same that offer “seed libraries,” an initiative of IndyPL to offer free vegetable, flower, and herb seeds for patrons interested in gardening. The seed library is wrapping up for the season and will restart in March.

“The pandemic has prompted many people to explore growing their own food or turn to gardening as a hobby, and as The Library aims to promote health and wellness learning for residents, we see this as a natural partnership,” said Deb Ehret, Pike Branch manager and coordinator of the seed library program.

This project enables IUPUI researchers the opportunity to expand on previous research on soil contamination, including lead in Marion County. The Lead Screening Kits are available to four Indiana counties, including Marion, thanks to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant to the University of Notre Dame and IUPUI to broaden the Notre Dame Lead Innovation Team lead screening program.

The branches offering Lead Screening Kits include: