If you live in one of the northeastern states or in one of the older midwestern of Southern cities, or in the central or western states where oil and gas drilling is a big part of the economy you very likely have a lead problem with your water. in neoliberal America which social wellbeing is not a priority or even an interest, the crumbling infrastructure our parents and grandparents built, when social wellbeing did matter, is long past its lifetime date. There are counties in America where almost every child tested showed higher than safe lead poisoning. Does anyone not kn0w that lead poisoning attacks the neuroanatomy of a child particularly their brains? Does any politician need to be told that?
But remediation costs money, and there is little corporate interest in doing it. Read this story and weep for the country we used to be.
We’ve grown too daunted to solve America’s lead crisis because of the sheer amount of money necessary to clean it up. But the fact that it’s a really big problem — one that does inordinate harm to children, in particular — is exactly why it’s worth trying to solve.
As the 2020 Democratic presidential primary heats up, and candidates stake out their policy positions, every candidate should propose a solution. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, to his credit, is proposing a big, comprehensive plan to tackle lead. But the amount of money he’s proposing to dedicate to the problem, while large compared to today’s inadequate efforts, is still relatively modest compared to the scale of the problem.
We know lead is a dangerous neurotoxin. Regulators years ago forced an end to its routine use as an additive to paint and gasoline or its use as a metal of choice in water pipes. But many old houses are full of old lead paint. Lead water pipes run beneath the streets of many of our houses. Most insidiously of all, though our cars no longer spew lead into the atmosphere, all that old lead from the gasoline of …