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U.S. Rep. Bob Brady is calling for a thorough evaluation of the Philadelphia’s water system in the wake of the lead poisoning disaster in Flint, Mich. Brady sent a letter this past week to Philadelphia Water Commissioner Debra McCarty, requesting the Water Department evaluate the city’s water system and public schools water system. “As you know, the effects of lead exposure are long-lasting and cannot be reversed,” Brady said in the letter. “As children are the most susceptible to lead poisoning, it is absolutely necessary that we increase lead surveillance programs in many of our American cities, especially older ones such as Philadelphia. “While most would agree that high lead levels in Philadelphia children and other Pennsylvania cities are probably due to exposure to lead paint, there is no harm in making sure our drinking water meets high quality standards.” Brady stressed the water crisis in Flint makes it important to ensure Philadelphia’s water systems are safe. The water department commented Friday on Brady’s request. “We appreciate the congressman’s concerns and would be happy to meet with him at his convenience to explain the testing procedures that PWD has successfully used for years to monitor water safety — procedures approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection,” the department said. “Our mains are lead-free and we work closely with customers who could have older lead service lines to test and mitigate. As Congressman Brady mentioned, the threat of lead poisoning is due to home-based issues, primarily from paint, and the city’s Health Department has a comprehensive testing program in that regard.” Lead poisoning can cause reading and learning disabilities, impaired hearing, IQ deficiencies, hyperactivity and other behavioral problems, all considered to be irreversible. Philadelphia has faced its own problems with lead poisoning throughout the years. The culprit has not been the city’s water supply, but it’s older housing stock — a huge percentage of which was built before 1978, when lawmakers finally banned the use of lead-based paint. By then, the paint was already coating the surfaces of many homes throughout the city, that eventually began to age and deteriorate, leaving the paint to chip and crack, and its dust to contaminate both the inside and outside of homes. The lead in the paint was most poisonous to the developing nervous systems of children under 5 years old. In 2014, a Pennsylvania Department of Health report showed that 10.9 percent of the 35,863 Philadelphia children under the age of seven who tested were found to have at least 5 micrograms per deciliter of lead in the blood — a level that requires medical intervension. Flint’s water problems began when government officials decided in April 2014 to switch the city’s water source temporarily and use water from the Flint River as a cost-cutting measure. Highly corrosive water from the river ate away at iron and lead pipes, causing lead to leach into the water supply. The city switched back to the Lake Huron water supply a year and a half later, however the damage was already done to community residents. By: Ayana Jones, Tribune Staff Writer, The Philadelphia Tribune
Not surprisingly, Delco’s two Congressmen were on opposite sides of the fence in today’s vote by the U.S. House on a resolution to avert a government shutdown...
Today the Supreme Court largely made the right decisions for the health of my constituents and Americans in general.
Congressman Brady recognized as one of top 100 Members of Congress advocating for children in policy and budget decisions
Congressman Bob Brady (D., PA) has been named a Defender of Children by the First Focus Campaign for Children (FFCC). First Focus Campaign for Children is a national bipartisan children's advocacy organization based in Washington, DC.
Congressman Brady joins Sen. Kitchen and other state officials to protest proposed asset test for SNAP recipients
ongressman Robert A. Brady (D., PA) today joined State Sen. Shirley Kitchen and other elected officials and advocates in blasting Pennsylvania’s proposed asset test for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).