Flint Michigan isn’t the only place with a drinking water crisis. All across the country, numerous communities face water insecurity due to outdated water infrastructure. There are an estimated 6-10 million lead service lines still in this country, which connect homes to drinking water mains in streets. As water flows through to houses, the lead is slowly eroded, resulting in lead contaminated drinking water. And this isn’t the only source of lead. Lead based paints, common in houses built before 1978, can result in dust and paint chips. If ingested, these can also result in lead poisoning.
Lead exposure is particularly harmful to children and pregnant people. Exposure to lead can cause issues such as damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, learning and behavior problems, and hearing and speech problems. The problem is particularly prominent in lower income households and BIPOC communities that can’t afford the necessary remediation efforts.
Clean Water Action Minnesota is working to advocate for funding and programs to improve lead remediation efforts at all levels. This includes education, advocacy, and community powerbuilding. We are committed to fighting for lead abatement and removal until the problem has been completely eliminated.