Study highlights lead in water danger and 135 mayors call on U.S. Congress to act on Infrastructure and Reconciliation Bills immediately
October 6, 2021 By Ground Water Canada
Chicago – A recently released report in JAMA Pediatrics highlights the need for Congress to pass both the Senate Infrastructure and the House Reconciliation Bills immediately, which includes funding for lead service line replacement to be added to drinking water state revolving funds.
According to JAMA, the report “captured individual-and community-level disparities in lead exposure, finding that the proportion of children with detectable and elevated BLLs increased significantly among those with public insurance and for progressive quintiles of community pre-1950s housing and poverty,” continued JAMA, “and that substantial individual – and community – level disparities persist. Children living at or below the poverty line in older housing or in communities with high concentrations of poverty are at the greatest risk of the toxic effects from lead.”
“We are asking Congress to act on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and that additional appropriations be put into the House Reconciliation Package immediately to provide further protection for our children,” said Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee in a news release from the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. “Over half of American children have lead exposure, a toxin that can impact pregnant people, nursing mothers, and children under six. While the legacy of lead paint presents the biggest threat, replacing lead pipes is an important additional step. Even low blood lead levels can negatively impact IQ.”
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a binational coalition of close to 100 U.S. and Canadian mayors and local officials working to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, which represent approximately 80 per cent of North America’s surface freshwater supply, provide drinking water for 40 million people.
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