Finally, lead abatement training and EPA lead safe certification courses are getting the attention they deserve, but only because of the ongoing tragedy playing out in Flint.
Residents of Flint, Michigan, just received positive news regarding their water supply for the first time in months. Researchers released water test results showing city lead levels are just below the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level.
The EPA’s action level is 15 parts per billion of lead within the water. If too many water samples are above the EPA’s level, like Flint has been experiencing for over a year, a larger problem is imminent.
“Beginning of the end,” says Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech researcher who is in charge of documenting Flint’s water issues. “Certainly,” Edwards added, “Flint residents should continue using the bottled water and filters.”
But ThinkProgress reports that as Flint’s crisis is seemingly coming to an end, another one is lurking in the Midwest.
“Everyone is afraid,” said Akeeshea Daniels, who first noticed an issue when her two children came down with scarlet fever a few years ago in Indiana. Scarlet fever hasn’t been an issue since the 1950s, so Daniels suspected something was seriously wrong.
“They told me it was my fault for not cleaning well enough,” Daniels added. “I had toddlers! I was cleaning every day.”
Because household dust is a major source of lead-related issues, it’s recommended to wet-mop floors and wipe counters and other surfaces at least every two to three weeks. In the Daniels’ case, however, the issue was much larger than a dusty home. Over the following years, other residents in her apartment complex experienced mysterious health issues, which were ignored by officials for far too long.
Finally, EPA officials in East Chicago, Indiana, finally got in touch with Daniels and other residents and warned them of toxic lead and arsenic levels in the soil around their homes. Mayor Anthony Copeland sent the next letter and informed Daniels that she and the rest of her neighbors would have to be “temporarily relocated” due to public health risk. The next day, the city announced the West Calumet Complex, where Daniels and others lived, would be demolished.
“I am so sorry this has happened,” said Tia Cauley, director of the East Chicago Housing Authority. “But I am very happy for our residents that will benefit from this. So you’ll get a chance to have a better future.”
With all the lead and water issues going on in the U.S. today, it’s more important than ever for individuals to take advantage of EPA lead safe certification courses. Lead can negatively affect all of us, but children are at a much greater risk. Childhood lead exposure contributes to approximately 600,000 new cases of intellectual disabilities every year, and children who have been poisoned by lead are seven times more likely to drop out of school and six times more likely to end up in the juvenile justice system.
EPA lead safe certification is extremely important, both for the safety of our water supply on a national level and our children’s safety on a personal level. There are EPA lead certification renewal courses available online as well if that’s what you need.
If you are in need of an EPA lead safe certification, contact ZOTA Professional Training today!