Sens. Ossoff, Warnock launch effort to safeguard children in Atlanta’s English Avenue neighborhood from possible lead exposure, which causes critical health and developmental issues
According to the World Health Organization, children absorb 4-5 times as much lead as adults
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock are delivering new resources to help protect children and families in Georgia from lead poisoning through the bipartisan infrastructure law.
Sens. Ossoff and Warnock are taking action after hearing concerns about lead contamination in Atlanta’s English Avenue neighborhood, an area that has been plagued by soil lead contamination for years due to construction sites and other industrial projects.
The two Senators worked with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to dispatch new resources to the area through the bipartisan infrastructure law that will help remove contaminated soil found in families’ properties and other locations in the community, especially in locations where children live and frequently play.
“Above all this is about children’s health,” Sen. Ossoff said. “Senator Warnock and I are delivering this historic public health and environmental cleanup effort for Atlanta’s Westside. I thank President Biden, Administrator Regan, and Southeast Regional Administrator Blackman for their support. No family in Georgia should live in fear of lead contamination.”
“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Westside Lead project will ensure the EPA can accelerate the removal of lead from people’s properties,” said Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock. “As a voice for Georgia in the Senate I’m committed to environmental justice, and I’m so proud to see these funds flow to this critical project in our state that is going to promote better health, a cleaner environment, and better outcomes for hardworking Georgians.”
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as many as 2,000 properties in Westside may have lead-contaminated soil — particularly concerning for a community where many families grow food on their own property.
The new resources will enable the EPA to inspect the community’s history of lead contamination and help protect children from future exposure to the harmful metal. Any level of exposure to lead is considered unsafe, and it can severely damage children’s developing brains.
Young children are most at risk for possible lead poisoning and can absorb as much as four to five times more lead into their bodies than adults, according to the World Health Organization. This can lead to long-term health issues, such as weakened intelligence, lower levels of concentration or self-control, and anemia.
In partnership with the EPA, Sens. Ossoff and Warnock will deliver the new resources, secured with bipartisan support, to the Westside Lead Superfund Site to lead the cleanup and contamination removal.