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

Children Drink Lead with CDC Approval

May 31, 2010

A congressional investigation recently found that the Center for Disease Control “knowingly used flawed data” in a study about lead in Washington, D.C.’s drinking water in 2004. The CDC had reported that “only” 315 D.C. children suffered from elevated levels of lead in their blood in 2002 and 2003.

They lied. The labs that conducted these blood tests had found that at least 949 D.C. children had elevated levels of lead in their blood – three times higher than the CDC claim.

In 2000, the D.C. WASA (Water and Sewer Authority) had switched the disinfectant it used to purify the water. Instead of making the water cleaner, as WASA claimed, this change corroded the city’s lead pipes at a faster rate. In 2002, tests of water flowing into homes from city pipes showed much higher levels of lead. In 2004, as pressure mounted, the CDC issued that lying report. Since then, many thousands more children have suffered damage, covered up by the CDC.

Lead in water is a poison, period. It can cause irreversible damage especially in the developing brains of babies and young children. It can lead to kidney damage for adults, and older people are vulnerable; in particular, their memory can be damaged as well as other cognitive abilities.

What is the response of the D.C. government to this supposedly “new” information, which the lab had for the last FIVE YEARS? Is the city offering free testing to all D.C. children? Is the city providing bottled water to all its residents? Is the city replacing the old pipes?

No, no, and no.