Much has been made over the past year regarding the water in Flint, Michigan. After lead contaminated the water, thousands of homeowners were forced to relocate or survive on a diet of bottled water. Now, the eyes of the country turn to the state of Indiana. Here, 1,100 residents have been forced to flee their homes. Why did they have to leave? Like the city of Flint, it had something to do with lead. However, unlike the city of Flint, it wasn’t because of the water. Instead, it was what turned up in the soil.
Residents of the West Calumet Housing Project were horrified to learn there was a staggering amount of lead in the dirt surrounding their homes. The 670 children who live in the housing project were known to play outside regularly. The lead that has been around these children may have already caused serious damage. The housing project is run by the East Chicago Housing Authority. The mayor of the city ordered the residents to leave their homes, and he gave orders for the entire housing project to be torn down. Residents are angry about not being told about the lead sooner. On study placed the amount of lead in the soil at 30 times the amount considered safe for children to play in.
The high levels of lead are being blamed on an old lead smelting factory existing on the property before the complex was built. Hopefully, nobody will make the mistake of building there again.