The lead prob­lem

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Ideas Lab -

The ar­ti­cle in the Mil­wau­kee Jour­nal Sen­tinel, “City left lead-poi­soned kids at risk, re­port says” about the draft state De­part­ment of Health Ser­vices re­port again points out how the city has ne­glected to pro­tect our chil­dren from toxic lead poi­son­ing (June 3).

The only ad­e­quate re­sponse to lead in paint and in the wa­ter is to re­move and re­place all lead paint and wa­ter pipes at all res­i­den­tial res­i­dences. The city has known about lead paint since the ’70s and lead wa­ter pipes since the mid-’90s and has failed to deal with the is­sue.

On lead wa­ter pipes, the city says we do not have money to re­place them, yet takes mil­lions of dol­lars per year gen­er­ated by the city Wa­ter De­part­ment and puts it in the gen­eral fund, not to re­place lead wa­ter pipes, but to pay for pri­or­i­ties like a park­ing lot for the Mil­wau­kee Bucks and a trol­ley line for down­town res­i­dents.

The chil­dren af­fected by lead poi­son­ing are pri­mar­ily African Amer­i­can and His­panic, while those ben­e­fited by city down­town in­vest­ments are pre­dom­i­nately white adults. What does that say about us?

Bob Graf Mil­wau­kee

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