Tell Congress: Everyone deserves clean water. Support the WATER Act
Five years after it started, the Flint water crisis is far from over. More than 100,000 residents of Flint, Michigan were exposed to toxic levels of lead in their drinking water, and thousands of families whose children were affected are still dealing with the tragic aftermath, including irreversible brain damage and lifelong physical effects.
And the tragedy goes far beyond Flint. Thousands of American neighborhoods have childhood lead poisoning rates that far exceed those found during the peak of Flint's contamination crisis.1 In all, at least 4 million households with children are exposed to high levels of lead.2
Reps. Brenda Lawrence and Ro Khanna recently introduced a vital bill to reinvigorate our public water systems and advance water justice, called the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, and Reliability (WATER) Act, which will provide much-needed investment in our water systems and promote democratic, community control.
We must build massive grassroots support demanding Congress to support the WATER Act now.
Tell Congress: Pass the WATER Act now.
Lead is a potent neurotoxin that is particularly harmful to young children, who can suffer permanent damage to their brains, nervous systems and vital organs. Lead exposure in children can cause learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and developmental delays, and a recently released analysis found that more than 24 million school children are at risk of losing IQ points due to lead in school drinking water.3
Lead poisoning isn't only a public health crisis, but it's also a racial justice one, because communities of color are disproportionately affected. In fact, Black children are 1.6 times more likely to have elevated lead levels in their blood and are three times more likely than white children to have "extremely high" lead blood levels.4
Clean drinking water is a basic human right, yet despite the crisis in Flint and in communities across the country, the EPA under Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to strengthen lead regulations, likely at the urging of water utility lobbyists.5 That's why passing the WATER Act is so critical. If Trump's industry-friendly EPA is unwilling to protect children, Congress must force them to act.
No family should fear that turning on the tap could poison their child and harm them for life.
Thanks for all you do.
- M.B. Pell and Joshua Schneyer, "Special Report: Thousands of U.S. areas afflicted with lead poisoning beyond Flint's," Reuters, Dec. 19, 2016.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Lead," accessed March 22, 2019.
- John Rumpler and Emma Dietz, "Get the Lead Out," Environment America Research & Policy Center, March 2019.
- Erin Schumaker and Alissa Scheller, "Lead Poisoning Is Still A Public Health Crisis For African-Americans," HuffPost Life, Dec. 6, 2017.
- Arthur Delaney, "EPA Promises, Yet Again, That It Will Do Something About America’s Lead Pipes," HuffPost, March 21, 2019.