~~April 18, 2016~~
LEAD POISONING IS A NATIONAL PROBLEM
I have been following this story, since Rachel Maddow brought it to the forefront in her TV show on MNSBC.
Rachel even visited Flint, MI, and organized a town hall meeting.
She’s interviewed the major of Flint (several times, in person and on TV), the people living there and the volunteers who have been helping.
However, I was getting frustrated about this because, due to the political circus created by the current race for the 2016 presidency, it seemed as if this very important topic had been forgotten.
Leave it to John Oliver, a Brit, to point the spotlight back on the “lead poisoning” situation, pointing out that this isn’t anything new.
This is a national problem … and one which needs immediate attention.
Take a moment to listen to John …. it’s worth your time.
John Oliver Blasts GOP Over Lead Poisoning American Children
The host of HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ took aim at Republican lawmakers for continually trying to defund lead regulation – which is causing irreparable damage to America’s kids.
“We’ve heard a lot about lead over the past year due to the horrific events in Flint, Michigan,” said John Oliver, leading off his main segment on Last Week Tonight.
Indeed, the crisis in Flint has been declared a federal emergency, with experts claiming that roughly 8,000 to 9,000 kids under age 6 may have suffered permanent brain damage after they were exposed to high levels of lead in the city’s water.
Oliver then threw to clips of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the Oversight & Government Reform Committee chair, decrying the lack of action in Flint in Congress.
Unfortunately, America’s lead problem isn’t limited to Flint.
A recent USA Today Network report found lead contamination in close to 2,000 additional water systems across all 50 states. There are 7.3 million lead service lines in the U.S., but water isn’t even our biggest threat of lead poisoning—rather, it’s ingesting lead paint dust. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there are an estimated 2,144,000 homes with a lead dust hazard affecting children under 6, and the CDC further estimates that 535,000 children between ages 1-5 have elevated lead levels in their blood. Since a child can be poisoned to death by only 10 mg of pure lead, ingesting small amounts is highly dangerous.
“There is no safe level of lead. It’s one of those things so dangerous you shouldn’t even let a little bit of it inside you—much like heroin…or Jeremy Piven,” joked Oliver, before getting serious: “Even low-level exposure can lead to irreversible damage, like lower IQs, antisocial behavior, and reduced attention span.”
Oliver then threw to a lead prevention video produced by Sesame Street way back in 1996—a program that then aired on PBS, a government-funded network Senate Republicans tried to defund in 2011—which attempted to communicate the dangers of lead exposure.
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No intention of taking credit.
If anyone knows the owner of any, please advise and it will be corrected immediately.
“Concerned?” Oliver continued. “That’s what makes it so frustrating that last year, all of those men voted for a bill that would have reduced the already low funding for HUD-led abatement programs by $35 million, amounting to a 32 percent cut. And the truth is, if you cut funding like that, a whole lot more children might get poisoned.”
Thankfully, said Oliver, those cuts didn’t go through—but the funding stayed flat. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have had major funding problems in recent years as well, with some Republican lawmakers—including presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump—desiring to wipe out the EPA altogether.
Cut to an incensed Oliver: “I thought poisoned children was something we were all justifiably outraged by?”
“As it appears in … full read/full credit”
~~Last Week Tonight with John Oliver~~
~~Published on Apr 17, 2016~~
Lead poisoning is a national problem.
If only lawmakers were as concerned as the puppets on Sesame Street.
We ALL are ONE!!