On ‘Radio Times:’ Lead-poisoned soil in Philadelphia

Kensington, Fishtown and Port Richmond neighborhoods were once the heart of Philadelphia’s industrial hub. Lead dust emitted from smokestacks landed on sidewalks and in yards and is now being unearthed by the area’s many construction projects. Some residents are finding the soil in their backyards is poisoned with lead. Small amounts of lead can permanently lower a child’s IQ and cause behavioral problems—a reality some residents are experiencing now.

Earlier this morning on Radio Times, host Marty Moss-Coane talked with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker, about their series in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the toxic lead legacy in these neighborhoods. Thomas Farley, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Health who sits on the Philadelphia Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Advisory Group discussed the city’s efforts to protect families.

Kim, a resident from Fishtown, called in about the pressures and anxieties she experienced when protecting her children from lead exposure.

“When my son was little we had the soil replaced in our yard,” Kim said. “My son is now four and has always been below two. My nine-month old daughter now has a level of seven.”

For more of Kim’s story and to hear the full conversation, listen to Radio Times.

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