If John Oliver dedicates his entire show to something, it is a big deal. Not just a big deal, really, something that every single American should probably hear. This public service announcement about lead is about a hundred years overdue, so it is no exception.
Flint, Michigan has opened America’s collective eyes to the dangers of lead in our municipal and public water systems. However, as John Oliver tells us, Flint isn’t alone, and the water isn’t the only, or even the most dangerous source of lead contamination your children and loved ones are exposed to.
Many countries around the world actually banned the use of lead paint in the ’20s. Yes, the 1920s, but not us! Nope, America made propaganda videos and turned it into a thriving industry — not banning it until the 70s. Not until they covered the country with it, not until they squeezed out every penny they could, even knowing it could kill or render our children the mental equivalent of broccoli. If that doesn’t make you mad, it should.
As Oliver says, we all care about Flint now, its very name evokes disaster. However, the fact is that Flint is only one of many places that are poisoning Americans with lead-contaminated water. There are 2,000 water systems, over 50 states that we already know have excessive lead levels. Sadly, there is no easy fix, and the fact is most kids who are poisoned by lead won’t be by the water they drink — it is literally in the air many breathe and the dust we all ingest on a daily basis. Well, it’s just a little dust, right?
As Oliver puts it:
And how big of a deal is a little dust anyway?
It’s a big f*cking deal.
‘How potent is lead? A child can be poisoned by as little as 10 milligrams of pure lead.’
America has their collective heads jammed up to the shoulders in the proverbial sand when it comes to lead. Lead paint, lead water pipes, lead bullets for guns, lead weights for fishing… a large soup spoon can hold up to 4,000 milligrams, enough to poison up to 400 kids. That means swallowing a single “sinker” for fishing could literally poison your child, leading to brain damage or death. There are, literally, NO safe levels of lead.
Please watch, share, and help get the word out: Flint’s painful destruction by political assholery and reckless poisoning of its own youth has finally gotten America’s attention, what do we do now? Hint: f*cking fund lead paint abatement, which probably doesn’t go along with the right wing’s plans to keep not taxing businesses and rich people.
And the crazy thing is, while lead abatement is expensive, its cost effective. … Each dollar spent on lead abatement would bring back 17 dollars in societal benefits; which is great. Although, the cost savings still do rank a distant third on my list of reasons to NOT POISON CHILDREN.
Watch John Oliver’s profanity-peppered, absolutely necessary, rant on lead in America, here:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUizvEjR-0U&w=854&h=480]
Featured image via screen capture