The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Washington, D.C.:
Lead Paint Poisoning

Feb 20, 2017

Two-year-old Heavenz Luster’s life has been permanently destroyed by lead paint chips and dust in a privately-owned apartment subsidized by the Washington, D.C. housing authority. A few months after moving in, Heavenz stopped sleeping at night, stopped eating, and became violent with her siblings. She has 24 times more lead in her blood than what federal health officials call "a concern," although no amount is considered safe.

The house passed four or more inspections, as city officials let the landlords simply paint over chipping old lead paint. As many as 85 percent of poisonous homes are Okayed for residence because city like federal policy is not to collect dust samples for lab testing.

Lead paint was proven to cause serious, permanent, mental and physical problems more than a century ago. But the U.S. waited 70 years after Europe to outlaw its use and didn’t set up any way to make or help property owners get rid of the old lead paint. D.C. still had more than 300,000 homes with lead paint in 2012.

The “most developed” country in the world is still in many ways the most backward.